Huntington Cancer Center offers adult patients significant opportunities to participate in clinical trials that may reduce their risk for cancer - or improve their prognosis once cancer has been diagnosed. Clinical trials are designed to test the benefits of possible new treatments or diagnostic procedures. Large, randomized trials such as those available at the center are widely recognized as the best means for testing new methodologies. Indeed, it is in large part due to past trials that prevention and treatment mechanisms have improved so greatly over recent years. The Center receives timely information on new clinical trials in the United States and Canada, and our physician investigators select the most promising of these to be offered to patients in our region, through our San Gabriel Valley Clinical Oncology Research Program. Patients taking part in a clinical trial not only have the potential to benefit themselves; they are also helping to advance research in ways that may help thousands of additional patients in the future.
Eligible patients are identified with the help of our care coordinators and our oncology research coordinators. Phase 1 trials study whether a new treatment is safe over a range of doses, and may include patients with a wide variety of cancers. Phase 2 trials evaluate how well a treatment works in a particular cancer. Phase 3 trials study how well a treatment works compared to other, usually standard, treatments. In Phase 3 trials, patients are selected at random to receive either the experimental or the standard treatment. They may not choose which treatment they will receive.
While insurance payments may not cover all costs associated with an experimental treatment, most insurance companies will cover the portion of care that is deemed standard and non-experimental. In addition, many pharmaceutical tests provide the drugs under investigation at no cost to the patient. (Medi-Cal patients should note that this reimbursement mechanism does not cover the costs associated with Phase I trials).
Current trials open to enrollment:
Radiation Therapy With or Without Trastuzumab in Treating Women With Ductal Carcinoma In Situ Who Have Undergone Lumpectomy
ABSTRACT: Monoclonal antibodies, such as trastuzumab, can block tumor growth in different ways. Some block the ability of tumor cells to grow and spread. Others find tumor cells and help kill them or carry tumor-killing substances to them. Radiation therapy uses high-energy x-rays to kill tumor cells. It is not yet known whether radiation therapy is more effective with or without trastuzumab in treating ductal carcinoma in situ.
This randomized phase III trial is studying radiation therapy to see how well it works compared with or without trastuzumab in treating women with ductal carcinoma in situ who have undergone lumpectomy.
SPONSOR: National Surgical Adjuvant Breast and Bowel Project (NSABP)
For more information, please call the office of Dr. Ruth Williamson at (626) 397-5149
or our Clinical Research department at (626) 397-3877
Phase II Study: Clinical Outcomes Following Accelerated Partial Breast Irradiation with a Strut-Adjusted Volume Implant
ABSTRACT: The purpose of this study is to evaluate the long term safety and efficacy of accelerated partial breast irradiation (APBI) using a strut-adjusted volume irradiation (SAVI) treatment catheter in breast cancer patients. Up until recently, the availability of APBI was limited due to skin-spacing issues between the radiation treatment device and the skin surface. The SAVI treatment catheter is a single-entry, multi-channel catheter which allows the physician to sculpt the dose of radiation therapy to the targeted breast tissue, while sparing normal healthy tissues. It is the currently the preferred method of APBI delivery at Huntington Memorial Hospital. While over 6,000 breast cancer patients have been treated to date throughout the country, the clinical outcomes following APBI with SAVI have not been well described. This study is being conducted to describe our clinical experience with SAVI with regard to patient comfort, skin toxicity, infection, persistent seroma rates and cosmetic outcomes.
Data collection will be conducted pre-operatively, post-operatively and following completion of radiation treatment. Study participants will be asked about their comfort during the SAVI device placement, with the SAVI device in place during radiation treatment, and during the removal of the SAVI device. Additional data will be collected at two weeks, six weeks, three months, six months, 12 months, 18 months and 24 months. The participants will be asked to grade their satisfaction with the cosmetic results. The total study duration will be 24 months from completion of radiation.
For more information, please call the office of Jeannie Shen, MD at (626) 356-3167, the office of
Ruth Williamson, MD at (626) 397-5149 or our Clinical Research department at (626) 397-3877
The American Society of Breast Surgeon’s Nipple Sparing Mastectomy Registry Trial
ABSTRACT: Women facing a total mastectomy have many choices when it comes to breast reconstruction, including silicone gel implants or an abdominal free flap (a.k.a. the “tummy tuck). Much of the advances in breast reconstruction have been driven by improvements in mastectomy surgical techniques. Studies have shown that a skin-sparing total mastectomy in which just the nipple/areola is removed and the native skin envelope is preserved can result in a much better cosmetic result, as well as improve a patient’s sense of well-being after surgery. While surgeons initially resisted the idea of preserving the nipple/areola due to concerns about leaving ductal tissue behind and increasing the risk of recurrence, several large retrospective studies from Germany and Japan have demonstrated that a nipple-sparing total mastectomy can be done safely without increased risk of recurrence in select patients. Being able to conserve the nipple/areola and skin of the breast can be advantageous for some women and improve their aesthetic results and quality of life even more. As a result, the nipple sparing technique has been increasingly offered to breast cancer patients in the U.S. The American Society of Breast Surgeons has opened a Nipple Sparing Mastectomy Registry Trial, in which member breast surgeons will report on their experiences with this technique. Patient information will remain confidential. The goal of the study is to prospectively collect data regarding cosmesis and cancer outcomes across the collective experience of breast surgeons throughout the country so we can provide future patients with more information on the long-term outcome of this approach.
SPONSOR: The American Society of Breast Surgeons (ASBS)
For more information, please call the office of Jeannie Shen, MD at (626) 356-3167 or our Clinical Research department at (626) 397-3877
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