Jessica Salamacha

Jessica Salamacha

Question: Why are cancer clinical trials important?

Every therapy, drug or approach that is in place today to treat cancer had its start in a clinical trial. With a shared focus on clinical excellence and cutting-edge research, Mission Hope are not only personizing treatment but also transforming the standard of care by advancing today’s clinical trials into tomorrow’s treatment.

Patients who participate in clinical trials receive either a promising new treatment or the best available conventional treatment. If a new treatment option is proven to work, patients who participating in the clinical trial will be among the first to benefit. While there is no guarantee that any treatment will be successful, clinical trials have been proven to offer some of the most effective cancer treatments currently available today.

Did you know May 20 is International Clinical Trials Day? This date commemorates the date that James Lind began the first randomized clinical trial on scurvy in 1747, which laid the foundation for modern clinical research.

The story is that Lind, a surgeon mate, aboard a ship in the English Channel believed that scurvy was the cause for the putrefaction of the body. The story continues that Lind then recruited 12 men whom he divided in to groups of two and then allocated each group to one of six treatments for 14 days (or until supplies were depleted).

It is told that Lind found that those who were allocated to the citrus group had the best and fastest visible results.

Clinical Trials have come a long way since Lind’s first randomized trial yet we still see many similarities in the methods still used today. Mission Hope Cancer Center is proud to support clinical research and offers nearly 120 clinical trials for various cancer diagnoses to our community.

Our trials here at Mission Hope Cancer Center range from screening trials to survivorship to interventional and treatment trials. Many of our patients are eager to participate in clinical trials, which affords them the potential at new therapeutic regimens as well as offers them the opportunity to aide in the advancement of medicine.

If you or a loved one would like to learn more about our clinical trials available we encourage you to contact our designated Clinical Research Coordinator, Jessica Salamacha, BS, CCRC, NRCMA at 805-346-3462.

HAVE A QUESTION? This weekly column produced by Marian Cancer Care invites you to submit your questions to “Your Cancer Answers” at the following email address mariancancercare@dignityhealth.org

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