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Clinical Trials

Clinical research trials increase treatment options available to the community and enhance quality of care. There are currently several treatment protocols ongoing at Sturdy Memorial Hospital through the National Cancer Institute's (NCI) National Clinical Trials Network (NCTN) and Cancer Trials Support Unit (CTSU). These networks bring together clinical oncologists and laboratory investigators to develop better treatments for cancer. Since Sturdy Memorial Hospital was awarded affiliate status in 2003, our patients have had local access to trials formerly available only at larger medical centers.

As new treatment protocols are developed, they are reviewed by Sturdy Memorial's Institutional Review Board and must pass rigorous scrutiny to ensure that patients are offered options that may provide a benefit beyond that of standard therapy. Most trials compare a new agent, combination of agents, or intervention with the current standard therapy. Participants must meet eligibility criteria, and are fully informed of all their options.

All Massachusetts health insurers and Medicare recognize clinical trials of the National Cancer Institute, as mandated by legislation. Patients do not incur additional fees for participating in a trial that is hoped to improve their care.

People with a cancer diagnosis who are interested in finding out more about clinical trials may ask their oncologist or call the clinical research nurse at 508-236-7059. The American Cancer Society is also a helpful resource and provides a Clinical Trials Guide, which includes FREE information and confidential matching services for people to learn about and find appropriate cancer clinical trials.