Research trials (also called clinical trials) are studies conducted with cancer patients, usually to evaluate a new treatment. These studies are designed to answer scientific questions and to find better ways to treat cancer patients.

New ideas and new drugs often come from larger medical and research institutions. However, clinical trials are needed to compare these new approaches versus the standard therapy. Research trials often represent cutting-edge therapies and are the best way to increase our knowledge about cancer treatments.

Our extensive involvement in clinical trials keeps our physicians abreast of the latest developments in cancer drugs, treatment protocols, and technology which we can offer to our patients. We offer and encourage many of our patients to take advantage of new treatment protocols or participate in clinical trials.

We are approved, active participants in many oncology programs including:

North Central Cancer Treatment Group through Mayo Clinic
Missouri Valley Cancer Community Clinical Oncology Program
National Surgical Adjuvant Breast and Bowel Project
Nebraska Lymphoma Study Group
Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group
Gynecology Oncology Group
Radiation Therapy Oncology

Every trial is based on a protocol, or treatment plan, which is being studied. A patient's eligibility must be evaluated before they can be placed on a study. If you are found to be eligible, the study will be explained to you in detail and you will be asked to sign a consent form.

You will be monitored closely both during treatment and after the study is completed. As the most important member of the health care team, you will be given a copy of your test schedule so you know when your appointments should be scheduled.

Many patients are concerned about the cost of treatment on clinical trials. Some drugs are provided free-of-charge by the study. Lab, x-rays and other tests are not. However, these tests are part of any standard treatment plan and are often paid for by health insurance. Tests that are not part of a standard evaluation are usually paid for by the clinical trial.