Fox Chase Cancer Center offers a wide range of studies.
The Center conducts all types of clinical trials, potentially giving you more options for your cancer care. There are several types of clinical trials, each with a specific purpose:
Treatment trials are conducted with people who have cancer. They are designed in phases to answer specific questions about, and evaluate the effectiveness of, a new treatment or a new way of using a standard treatment. These clinical trials test many types of cancer treatments, including new drugs, vaccines, approaches to surgery or radiation therapy, and combinations of treatments.
Prevention trials study ways to reduce the risk of getting cancer. Most prevention trials involve healthy volunteers who have not had cancer but who have been identified as at high risk for developing cancer. Some studies are conducted with people who have had cancer and want to prevent its return (recurrence), or reduce the chance of developing a second cancer.
Screening trials study ways to better detect cancer, especially in the early stages. These studies also help find out whether detecting cancer before it causes symptoms decreases the chance of dying from the disease. These trials usually involve people who do not have any symptoms of cancer.
Diagnostic trials study tests or procedures that could be used to identify cancer more accurately and at an earlier stage. Diagnostic trials usually include people who have signs or symptoms of cancer.
Supportive Care (or Quality of Life) Trials
Supportive care trials explore ways to improve the comfort and quality of life of cancer patients and cancer survivors. These trials may study ways to help people who are experiencing nausea, vomiting, sleep disorders, depression or other side effects from cancer or its treatment, and how it affects a person’s everyday life.
Genetics studies are sometimes part of another cancer clinical trial. The genetics component of the trial may focus on how genetic makeup can affect detection, diagnosis or response to cancer treatment, including side effects.
Behavioral studies aim to increase behaviors (i.e., cancer screening, physical activity, fruit and vegetable intake), eliminate or reduce behaviors (i.e., smoking, sun exposure) and/or improve coping and quality of life (i.e., among cancer survivors) and reduce the difficulties of treatment. Studies may focus on cancer prevention, early detection, treatment and survivorship.
Epidemiology or Population-Based Studies
Epidemiology studies differ from traditional cancer clinical trials. In these studies, researchers look at tissue or blood samples, generally from families or large groups of people, to find genetic changes that are associated with cancer. People who participate may or may not have cancer, depending on the study. The goal is to help understand the patterns, causes and control of cancer in the groups being studied.