About Clinical Trials

What Are Clinical Trials?

Clinical trials are research studies that help find new and better ways to prevent, diagnose and treat cancer. Clinical trials can involve the testing of:

  • New cancer drugs
  • New combinations of treatments
  • New approaches to surgery and radiation therapy
  • New therapeutic strategies such as gene therapy
  • New ways to improve quality of life
  • New ways to find and prevent cancer

Almost every cancer treatment available to patients today was first tested in a clinical trial.

Why Participate in a Clinical Trial?

If you have been newly diagnosed with cancer, or if you have not responded to standard treatments, you should talk to your doctor about participating in a clinical trial. Why? Because clinical trials are how we find new therapies, improve current treatments, and reduce current side effects. When you participate in a clinical trial, you are actively participating in improving outcomes and finding a cure for cancer. 

Participating in a clinical trial also ensures that you are receiving the highest standard of cancer care available anywhere. The reason for this is simple: when you participate in a trial for a new experimental therapy, every aspect of your treatment is governed by a detailed protocol and closely monitored by a team of professionals to ensure consistency of care. The National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN) – which develops authoritative treatment guidelines for cancer – states that the best management for any patient with cancer is in a clinical trial and that participation is especially encouraged for patients making treatment decisions.  

How to Find a Cancer Clinical Trial

The Stephenson Cancer Center currently has approximately 300 active clinical trials for all types and stages of cancer – more than any other center in Oklahoma. One in four patients treated at the Stephenson participates in a clinical trial. Ask your doctor or nurse about available clinical trial opportunities. All clinical trials have eligibility requirements. Your doctor or nurse can tell you if you qualify to participate.

You can search for clinical trials at the Stephenson Cancer Center here.

A National Leader in Clinical Trials Research

The Stephenson Cancer Center is a recognized national leader in clinical trials research. The Stephenson is Oklahoma’s only National Cancer Institute (NCI)-Designated Cancer Center, and one of only 71 NCI-Designated Cancer Centers in the United States. This highly competitive accreditation ensures that our patients receive the highest standard of care and have access to the most advanced cancer treatment options.

In addition to NCI Designation, the Stephenson Cancer Center has earned the prestigious Lead Academic Participating Site (LAPS) status within the NCI’s National Clinical Trials Network (NCTN). With more than 2,000 international sites, the NCTN is the world’s largest oncology clinical trials network. The Stephenson’s exclusive LAPS status – just 32 cancer centers have received this award – highlights the Stephenson’s national leadership in developing and conducting NCTN clinical trials. The Stephenson annually ranks among the top cancer centers in the NCTN for the number of patients participating in NCTN clinical trials.

The Oklahoma TSET Phase I Program at the Stephenson Cancer Center offers patients first access to the newest early-stage investigational drugs. It is among the top ten Phase I programs in the nation, and it is the only Phase I clinical trials program in the state.    

The Stephenson Cancer Center is committed to clinical research to improve patient outcomes, but our doctors and researchers can’t do it alone. We need your help because, when you participate in a clinical trial, you become a partner in discovery. You take a vital and active role in your care.  

Become Part of the Cure. Ask Your Doctor About Clinical Trials.