The clinical trials research team at MedStar Franklin Square in Baltimore
Our clinical trials program at The Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Cancer Institute is one of the largest in the state. The reputation of the Cancer Institute, its doctors and the greater availability of new treatments attract patients from a tri-state area.
A clinical trial is a research study. People who participate receive either treatments not yet available to the general public, or available treatments used in new ways or in new combinations.
Clinical trials can offer the most up-to-date treatment for your cancer, and can represent a significant improvement in your care, especially if your first-line therapy has not been successful.
Participation means that you will receive the additional support of a research nurse. Your research nurse will be your advocate and will see to it that your treatment regimen follows strict clinical trial instructions. At the end of your treatment, your research nurse will continue to call you or your doctor to follow up on your condition.
Clinical trials are the most effective way to improve cancer survival rates. Your participation in a clinical trial will benefit future cancer patients.
The many cancer trials open for patient enrollment focus on the prevention, treatment or palliation of different types of cancer. Most come with a quality of life component.
Because of MedStar Franklin Square’s reputation for quality of care, trials are sometimes available here when they are unavailable elsewhere. For more information about our clinical trials, call 443-777-7364.
Before a clinical trial is made available, it is reviewed by the MedStar Oncology Institutional Review Board. The IRB is a group of doctors, nurses, researchers and community representatives who decide whether the clinical trial is safe and effective and whether it is based on the best interests of the people who will participate in it. Guidelines regulating these decisions are set by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
Patients must also meet the specific criteria of the trial (i.e., stage of disease) and they must sign an informed consent that states they have been advised of all the medical aspects of the clinical trial. The doctor and the research nurse individually educate the patient about the regimen of treatment to be received.
The patient also has the right to stop participation in the trial at any time.
Our cancer trials are sponsored by multi-institutional research groups supported by the National Cancer Institute (NCI), pharmaceutical companies and independent investigators.
Our NCI-sponsored affiliations include the NRG and Alliance Cooperative groups. We are also part of the MedStar Oncology Network which is a collaborative oncology research effort involving all MedStar hospitals including Georgetown (Lombardi Cancer Institute), Washington Hospital Center (Washington Cancer Institute), and MedStar community hospitals.
Yes. You are free to discontinue treatment at any time. This will not affect your relationship with your doctor. Your doctor and cancer program staff will provide other available care. In fact, if your doctor believes that the treatment you receive in the clinical trial is not helping, or that its side effects are too harmful, he or she will take you out of the study.
Billing is the same for clinical trial participants and non-participants. Treatments are charged to your insurance company. Other sources of funding may cover additional costs of the clinical trial.