It is in large part due to past trials that prevention and treatment mechanisms have improved so greatly over recent years.
— Ruth Williamson, MD
Current clinical trials
Clinical trials close to home
Huntington Cancer Center offers adult patients significant opportunities to participate in promising new 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 are widely recognized as the best means for testing new methodologies.
Patients taking part in a clinical trial not only have the potential to benefit themselves, they are also advancing research in ways that may help thousands of future patients.
Are you eligible to enroll in a clinical trial?
Eligible patients are identified with the help of our care coordinators and 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.
We can talk to your insurance company for you
While insurance payments may not cover all costs associated with an experimental treatment, most insurance companies will cover the portion of care deemed standard and non-experimental.
Many pharmaceutical tests provide the drugs under investigation at no cost to the patient.
Medi-Cal patients: please note this reimbursement mechanism does not cover 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
Acupuncture for Lymphedema Prevention
ABSTRACT: Breast cancer related lymphedema affects 3-40% of breast cancer patients. Women with lymphedema report disruptions in their activities of daily living, sexual and social life such as traveling, exercise and leisure activities and overall quality of life. A recent systematic review of the literature for breast cancer related lymphedema demonstrated a lack of studies on which to develop standard prevention guidelines. Studies have shown that over half of breast cancer patients seek out and use complementary alternative medicine (CAM). Acupuncture is one of the most commonly studied CAM modalities, and there is good evidence for its effectiveness in treating cancer treatment-related symptoms. While a few studies have demonstrated the effectiveness of acupuncture in treating lymphedema once it develops, no study has evaluated the use of acupuncture to prevent lymphedema. The current study aims to determine the feasibility and benefits of an integrative therapy program (ITP) intervention utilizing self-management education in conjunction with acupuncture to prevent the development of breast cancer-related lymphedema among high-risk post-operative breast cancer patients.
SPONSOR: Huntington Hospital
For more information, please call Suzie Kline, Ph.D., N.P. at (626) 397-2537 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
To read our Conflict of Interest Disclosure policy, please click HERE
Duloxetine for Aromatase Inhibitor-Associated Bone & Joint Pain
ABSTRACT: Nearly 180,000 women are diagnosed with breast cancer each year in the U.S. The incidence of breast cancer increases with age, and the majority of patients are postmenopausal at the time of diagnosis. In addition, at least two-thirds of tumors are hormone receptor (HR) positive. Patients with HR positive tumors are candidates for anti-hormone breast cancer therapy. Two classes of anti-hormone therapies are used: tamoxifen and the aromatase inhibitors (AIs) – which include anastrazole, letrozole, and exemestane. AIs can only be used to treatment postmenopausal women. In these patients, AIs have been shown to be more effective than tamoxifen. Based on currently available data, women with HR positive tumors are treated with either tamoxifen or AI therapy for at least 5 years. As many as 50% of patients report AI-associated arthralgias (bone and joint pain). The exact mechanism is unknown. As a result of these symptoms, up to 20% of women will choose to discontinue these potentially life-saving medications. No effective pharmacologic therapy has been identified for the management of these symptoms. The current treatment is limited to oral pain medication, exercise, and complementary therapies such as acupuncture. None of these have shown complete or long-term efficacy. Duloxetine (brand name Cymbalta) is a selective serotonin- and norepinephrine-reuptake inhibitor (SNRI) which is FDA-approved for the treatment of major depressive disorder, generalized anxiety disorder, fibromyalgia, and chronic musculoskeletal pain. An early phase II clinical trial of duloxetine in postmenopausal breast cancer patients with AI-associated arthralgias found over 50% of patients experienced at least a 50% decrease in their average pain score without any significant serious side effects. The current study seeks to evaluate whether duloxetine can effectively treat AI-associated bone and joint pain, and other related symptoms such as depression, anxiety, hot flashes, and sleep quality.
SPONSOR: Southwestern Oncology Group (SWOG)
For more information, please contact Dr. Jeannie Shen at (626) 356-3167 or our Clinical Research Coordinator at (626) 397-3882