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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 trials include:

Cooperative Groups

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.

Cancer Centers

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.

Federal Agencies

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.

Pharmaceutical Industry

More than 100 pharmaceutical companies conduct cancer clinical trials, many involving early-phase research.