Clinical Trials and Research
Bringing new breakthroughs from the lab to the bedside
St. Jude offers a wide variety of cutting-edge clinical trials for the
treatment of cancer, allowing us to put the promise of tomorrow into action
today. By partnering with the nation’s top cancer research programs
– including the National Cancer Institute, the UCLA-TRIO cancer
research network, and leading oncology research cooperatives – our
patients have access to the most promising and aggressive treatments available anywhere.
Through over 60 clinical trials a year, our fellowship-trained medical
oncologists, radiation oncologists, and surgeons are helping to create
breakthroughs in cancers once through insurmountable. From personalized
cancer vaccines to new targeted chemotherapies, our commitment to improving
cancer treatment today – not years from now – is ensuring
our patients at the forefront of each new advance.
We routinely offer clinical trials for almost every type of cancer, including
cancers of the colon, stomach, lung, brain, prostate, breast and ovaries,
as well as lymphoma, leukemia, and myeloma. We also offer clinical trials
that study supportive or palliative care, where the goal is to improve
a patient’s quality of life during cancer treatment.
For more information, or to learn about eligibility requirements for each
trial, call our Oncology Research Office at (714) 446-5642 or our UCLA-TRIO
Research Coordinator at (714) 446-5804.
More about clinical trials:
- A clinical trial is designed to answer a specific question, such as if
a new treatment works, or whether one treatment works better than another.
Many of today’s most effective, evidence-based cancer therapies–
called the standard of care – are the result of clinical trials.
- Participating in a cancer clinical trial can give you access to treatments
not yet widely available – treatments that hold promise, but are unproven.
- Before a new treatment is tested in a clinical trial, it undergoes extensive
laboratory testing, often for many years. Only the most promising new
treatments make it to the clinical trial stage; for instance, only about
1 in 1,000 of the new drugs developed and researched, is ever tested in
a clinical trial.
- Patients involved in clinical trials receive a high level of monitoring
– and often have more experts involved in their care. Patients benefit
from a unique level of attention to every aspect of their health.
- Although there is always a chance that a new treatment will be disappointing,
the physicians and researchers involved in a study have reason to believe
it will be as good as, or better than, current treatments. It’s
important to remember that even standard treatments, while effective for
many, don’t benefit every patient.
- Cancer clinical trials are strictly governed by protocols that spell out
exactly what will happen and why. Each protocol is carefully evaluated
to safeguard patient safety by the hospital’s Institutional Review
Board (IRB), made up of medical experts, scientists, and members of our
community. Every detail, down to how many times a patient’s blood
will be drawn, is reviewed to determine appropriateness.
- If it becomes clear during a clinical trial that one treatment is better
than another, the trial is stopped so that all patients receive the treatment.
Patients in the trial are the first to benefit.
- Placebos are very rarely used in cancer trials and are never used in place
of treatment. No patient goes without treatment, where a treatment is
- The decision to participate in a clinical trial is a personal one. Patients
often participate because they hope for a cure, a longer lifespan, an
improved quality of life, or want to benefit other cancer patients in
- Patients receive extensive information about possible risks and benefits,
before deciding whether or not to participate. Participants can quit or
leave a trial at any time.
- The more you know about cancer clinical trials, the easier your choice
will be. Talk to your doctor about all treatment options, including any
clinical trials you qualify to participate in.