Clinical Trials

Doctor working in a laboratory

Through its affiliation with the UCSF Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center, the Regional Cancer Center at ValleyCare provides local access to a number of clinical trials funded by the National Institutes of Health and the National Cancer Institute. Through these clinical trials, our patients have access to the latest anticancer therapies, with the added benefit of being treated closer to home.

What Is a Clinical Trial?

A clinical trial (or clinical research) is a research study to evaluate a new drug or treatment. Carefully conducted clinical trials are the fastest and safest way to find treatments that work in people and ways to improve health. All of today's standard cancer treatments were first shown to be effective in clinical trials. New and better treatments for cancer will be discovered only through the continued support of patients who participate in clinical trials.

Before a new treatment is tested with patients, it is carefully studied for several years in the laboratory and tested for safety. This research identifies the new methods most likely to succeed and, as much as possible, shows how to use them safely and effectively. Then, clinical trials undergo a rigorous approval process both by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and by two separate committees of UCSF physicians. Although there is always a possibility that a new treatment will be disappointing, the researchers and physicians who approve a study have reason to believe that it will be as good as, or better than, current treatments.

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Am I Eligible for a Clinical Trial?

As a patient being treated at the Regional Cancer Center, you may be eligible to take part in a clinical trial. Patients who qualify for a clinical trial decide, with the advice of their physician, whether to participate in the study. How a treatment will work for a patient in a trial cannot be known ahead of time. Therefore, the patient should be aware of both the risks and benefits of clinical trials before making a decision.

You will never be placed on a clinical trial without your knowledge or permission. All qualified patients involved in clinical trials sign consent forms before the study begins.

If you qualify, we hope that you and your family will consider participating in this worthwhile endeavor. Please do not hesitate to talk to your physician about clinical trials that may be available for your participation.

How Do I Sign Up for a Clinical Trial?

Contact ValleyCare's clinical research coordinator at 925.416.6774.

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