Learn About Cancer Clinical Trials
Where Are Cancer Clinical Trials Conducted?
Cancer clinical trials represent leading-edge medical science. As a result, many
people may believe that they are only available at large teaching hospitals or
in major cities. This is not the case. Depending upon the type of cancer
treatment, patients enrolled in cancer clinical trials receive care at teaching
hospitals, outpatient clinics, community hospitals, and physicians' offices.
In fact, thousands of oncologists and other physicians throughout the United
States and Canada take part in cancer clinical trials. A clinical trial may
even be taking place in your neighborhood. Major sponsors of cancer clinical
There are 10 major cancer cooperative groups in the United States and Canada.
These regional and national groups are networks of institutions and
investigators at academic hospitals, community hospitals, and medical practices
that voluntarily collaborate to conduct cancer research. Approximately 8000
physicians in the United States and Canada belong to cooperative groups. About
half the cancer patients participating in clinical trials in any given year are
part of cooperative group studies.
Sixty institutions have been designated Comprehensive or Clinical Cancer Centers
by the National Cancer Institute (NCI). These centers conduct several hundred
cancer clinical trials in any given year.
Community Clinical Oncology Program (CCOP)
This network makes cancer clinical trials accessible to patients in smaller
communities in 29 states. It includes 2500 community cancer specialists and
primary care physicians.
Although most government-sponsored
cancer clinical trials are conducted through the NCI, several other agencies
conduct or sponsor cancer-related clinical research. These include the National
Heart, Lung and Blood Institute, National Institute of Neurological Disorders
and Stroke, the Department of Defense, and the Department of Veterans’ Affairs.
More than 100 pharmaceutical companies
conduct cancer clinical trials, many involving early-phase research.