UH cancer clinical trials aim to help improve health care

UH Cancer Center

Finding new and innovative ways to prevent, detect or treat diseases is the focus of UH Cancer Center’s clinical trials. The research studies involve people and test whether treatments are safe and effective. Center director Dr. Randall Holcombe and clinical trials director Dr. Jessica Rhee gave Hawaii Now an in-depth look into how they conduct these trials.

About UH Cancer Center Clinical Trials
Staffed by highly-trained professional research personnel, the Clinical Trials Office (CTO) is a central office that provides infrastructure and operational support for cancer clinical trials at the University of Hawai’i Cancer Center and Hawai’i Cancer Consortium. At any given time, approximately 150 cancer clinical trials are taking place consecutively. CTO personnel are available to assist both faculty and industry sponsors throughout the entire lifecycle of a protocol from inception to study closeout. UH Cancer Center is the central point of contact, coordinating with investigational pharmacy, laboratory, nursing, NCI, investigational sites, and other collaborating academic institutions.

So how do clinical trials improve care? Clinical trials provide the highest level of quality of care for patients with cancer. The mortality rate from cancer is falling, in large part due to cancer research that has, through clinical trials, led to new and better methods of cancer prevention, detection and treatment. Children with cancer are enrolled into clinical trials at a rate of 70-75% across the US, however only 2-3% of adults with cancer in the U.S. enroll in clinical trials.

UH Cancer Center provides clinical trials sponsored by their own clinical faculty, NCI and pharmaceutical companies. The organization also provides these trials to Hawaii’s community network of hospitals and clinics, which include all the major hospitals and private oncology offices. How do people get access to clinical trials? Patients can enroll and receive their care in clinical trials at their own physicians’ offices. Patients can also ask their oncologist if there is a clinical trial that is appropriate for them. Current UH Cancer Center trials include the Kane study, Hula study and the Taylor X trial. For a list of currently available cancer clinical trials that are divided by disease please visit uhcancercenter.org.

The UH Cancer Center is launching a new 20by25 clinical trial campaign. The goal of the campaign is to achieve enrollment to cancer clinical trials of 20 percent of all individuals with newly diagnosed and relapsed cancers in Hawaii by 2025. If UH Cancer Center achieves its goal, Hawaii will be the first state in the nation to do so. It is an initiative focused on community education about cancer clinical trials, engagement and training of oncology providers, and encouraging enrollment to cancer clinical trials.

For more information: uhcancercenter.org, Twitter: @UHCancerCenter, facebook.com/UHCancerCenter