Clinical trials are an integral part of cancer care. Clinical trials are research studies that help to find new and better ways to detect, treat, and prevent cancer. All clinical trials have guidelines about who can and cannot participate. St. John Health’s Breast Program is very active in enrolling patient’s in clinical trials. Each individual hospital within St. John Health has their own clinical trials group available to help you determine if participation in a clinical trial is right for you.
St. John Hospital and Medical Center and St. John Macomb-Oakland Hospital, Macomb Center are part of the Community Clinical Oncology Program (CCOP). Through the CCOP we gain access to the clinical trials offered by the National Cancer Institute. Providence Hospital and Medical Center and Providence Park Hospital offer studies from numerous national cooperative groups.
The research team at St. John Health is multidisciplinary and consists of experts in the fields of research, medical oncology, and nursing.
If you think you may be interested or want to find out more about clinical trials in breast cancer please contact the following St. John Health offices.
St. John Hospital and Medical Center
Clinical Trials Office: 313-343-3166
Principal Investigator: Dr. Carrie Dul. Dr. Carrie Dul is a medical oncologist who oversees the clinical trials program at St. John Hospital and Medical Center.
Research Staff: Amanda Rogers, Clinical Research Associate, Lori McFadden, RN
St. John Macomb-Oakland Hospital and Macomb Center
Clinical Trials Office: 586-573-5127
Primary Investigator: Dr. Allen Stawis. Dr. Allen Stawis is a medical oncologist who oversees the clinical trials program at St. John Macomb.
Research Staff: Marg van der Veen, RN
Providence Hospital and Medical Center/Providence Park Hospital and Medical Center
Clinical Trials Office: 1-800-341-0801
Primary Investigator: Dr. Anibal Drelichman. Dr. Drelichman is a medical oncologist who oversees the clinical trials program at
Manager: Jaswinder Grewal, PhD manager of oncology clinical trials
Research Staff: Ting Jin, RN, Cindy Manwaring, RN
Frequently Asked Questions
What is a clinical trial?
Clinical trials are research studies that help to find better ways to detect, treat, and prevent cancer. Each clinical trial has a particular question in mind. Some clinical trials are evaluating the effectiveness of a new screening tool, others may be looking at a new medicine.
Clinical trials must proceed through 4 phases before the intervention (drug, imaging etc) is available off study. In a Phase I Trial the safety of a new drug or dosage is being tested for the first time to a small group of people. This type of study evaluates the safety of the drug and begins to identify side effects. In a Phase II trials the drug is then given to a larger group of people to see if it is effective and to further evaluate the safety. In a Phase III trial the drug or treatment is given to an even larger group of people to confirm the effectiveness of the treatment and observe side effects. Also in a Phase III trial the treatment is compared to the current standard treatment. Patients are randomly assigned to the new treatment versus the current standard. The last phase is a Phase IV trial and here researchers try and find out any additional information about the risks and benefits of the treatment as well as the best way to use and. Here we also gather data about long-term safety and effectiveness of the treatment.
What benefit do I get if I participate?
Patients who participate in clinical trials gain access to new treatments before they are widely available. They are also closely observed by cancer experts. Participating in a clinical trial also helps contribute to medical research.
What are the risks of a clinical trial?
Sometimes participation in a clinical trial can be time consuming. There may be several trips required to be evaluated, more treatments, more evaluations and paperwork. As with any treatment, even what we consider the standard, there is a risk of side effects. Side effects vary from unpleasant or serious side effects. Before entering a study a nurse or physician will fully explain all the risks and benefits of the treatment.
Who is eligible for a clinical trial?
Each research study has different eligibility criteria. Criteria may depend on age of the person, stage of cancer, previous treatment, and other medical issues to patient may have.
What kind of rights do I have when entered into a clinical Trial?
People involved in a clinical trial must sign an informed consent. This is a document stating that the patient has entered into this trial by their own free will and has not felt pressured or coerced into entering. While involved in a clinical trial you must agree to follow the instructions of the trial but at any point you have the right to leave the trial for any reason. While on the trial you are also protected by Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) which means your privacy will be maintained. You information may be used as part of the study but you will not be personally identified.
Does anyone review clinical trials to make sure they are safe?
The IRB (Institutional Review Board) is a group that reviews and approves each clinical trial to make sure it is safe and ethical.
Other Resources for Information on Clinical Trials
Coalition of Cancer Cooperative Groups
National Cancer Institute
National Cancer Institute’s Center for Cancer Research
Open Breast Clinical Trials
Click here for open Clinical Trials at St. John Hospital and Medical Center and St. John Macomb-Oakland Hospital, Macomb Center.
You can also view open clinical trials athttp://www.mcrconline.org/