Oana Danciu, MD
Medical Director, Clinical Trials Office
At the University of Illinois Cancer Center, we hope to provide you with the most updated treatment information and options that are available to you or your loved ones who have been diagnosed with cancer. In addition to standard chemotherapeutic and radiation treatments, the University of Illinois runs a variety of clinical trials, many of which may benefit your cancer diagnosis and provide you with a successful treatment otherwise not available.
WHAT ARE CLINICAL TRIALS?
Clinical trials are research studies that are designed to answer scientific questions and find better ways to prevent, diagnose or treat various diseases and conditions, including cancer. A clinical trial is one of the final stages of a long and careful cancer research process. The search for new treatments begins in the laboratory, where scientists first develop and test new ideas. If an approach seems promising, the next step may be testing a treatment in animals, to see how it affects cancer in a living being, and whether it has harmful effects. Of course, treatments that work well in the lab or in animals do not always work well in people. The clinical trial itself comes in when the treatments are deemed safe enough to explore their effects on humans. In the context of cancer, these trials are done with cancer patients to find out whether promising treatments are safe, not too toxic for cancer patients, and effective.
The most successful cancer treatments that we have today are based on what we have learned from clinical trials. As a result, people with cancer are living longer, with a better quality of life. Participating in clinical trials at the University of Illinois Cancer Center means that you will receive compassionate health care, with close monitoring by a team of expert researchers, nurses, pharmacists and physicians. It also means that you are part of the process of developing newer, safer treatments.