Simply stated, clinical trials are research studies wherein
participating patients, along with their physician, have the opportunity
to discover new and better ways to improve the treatment of cancer. The
Toledo Community Oncology Program (TCOP) is a member of the National
Cancer Institute’s (NCI) Community Clinical Oncology Program (CCOP).
CCOP is a comprehensive clinical trial network that brings the latest
adult cancer prevention and treatment research findings to communities
across the nation. Formed in 1983, CCOP brings together community
physicians with the medical industry’s leading scientists to conduct
NCI-supported clinical trials. As a regional CCOP, TCOP offers
participation in these life-saving trials in northwest Ohio, northeast
Ohio, southeast Michigan, Fredericksburg, Virginia and Butler,
Pennsylvania. TCOP benefits both patients and physicians in these
communities — providing treatment for today and progress for tomorrow.
ABOUT CLINICAL TRIALS
Developed to target and review the effectiveness of various and
promising approaches to cancer prevention, detection, diagnosis and
treatment, cancer trials allow specific clinical questions to be
answered quickly, utilizing the latest research findings. One of the
final stages of a long and careful cancer research process, these
research studies can take various forms, including treatment trials,
screening trials, quality of life trials, and prevention trials.
Clinical trials are classified into one of three phases. Phase I
trials evaluate how a new drug should be given, how often, and at what
dosage. These trials are done in small numbers, usually to those with
advanced stages of the illness. Phase II trials are formed to evaluate
the benefits of particular new drugs for particular types of cancer.
Finally, Phase III trials compare a new drug or procedure with another,
usually a more standard drug or procedure. TCOP deals mainly with Phase
II and III trials, helping to define which drugs and procedures best
treat the specific cancer.
Clinical trials go through many steps to ensure that they are
conducted in a safe manner. Before a clinical trial can be opened in a
community, it must be approved by an Institutional Review Board (IRB).
An IRB is comprised of health professionals as well as community
members. TCOP has 17 IRB members including clergy, physicians, nurses
and community members.
Click on "Learn About Trails" above to discover more about clinical
trials, the questions to ask your physicians, clarification on common
misconceptions, and specifics on insurance issues.