Breast Cancer Research & Clinical Trials
There are several common treatment protocols used to treat breast cancer patients depending on the type of breast cancer they have been diagnosed with. While many of these well-established treatments have proven to work effectively, there is often room for improvement. One area of focus for breast cancer research is taking a closer look at possible new combinations of therapies and treatment plans using FDA approved medicines and procedures.
Some types of breast cancer have fewer well-defined treatment options, including triple-negative breast cancer. In this case, cancer research trials may be looking at new potential treatment options.
As a member of US Oncology Research, Cancer Care Centers of Brevard offers access to the latest cancer research clinical trials in Brevard County, Florida. Our participation in breast cancer research allows us to provide new treatment options to patients who may not respond to the standard breast cancer treatment protocols. This research brings new hope to these breast cancer patients.
What types of breast cancer research trials are available in Brevard County?
Most breast cancer research trials are evaluating a drug before it is approved by the FDA for breast cancer patients. There are a few different situations where there is research needed:
- A completely new therapy has been developed and is now at the point of being tested for dosing and safety with breast cancer patients who meet certain criteria
- More often than a new treatment being evaluated is an established drug approved for other types of cancer or other diseases that have shown promise for breast cancer.
- A new combination of FDA approved cancer treatments that show promise for better outcomes for breast cancer patients.
Once the new cancer treatment has proven to be safe and effective for the types of patients the trial has targeted, the FDA will move forward in approving it for use among all patients in the U.S. with the same type of cancer.
Advancing treatment options for triple-negative breast cancer
Since breast cancer treatment is based on hormone receptors that are or are not present, your oncologist will first run a test to see if one of three different hormone receptors are present. When there are no hormone receptors on the cancer cells it’s considered triple-negative breast cancer.
Because triple-negative breast cancer is so aggressive, it is continuously researched in hopes of finding a combination of therapies that work to battle it. If you have been diagnosed with this type of breast cancer, you may be offered a clinical trial as part of this significant research effort to find a widely-acceptable treatment plan.
Recently a new immunotherapy was approved by the FDA for triple negative breast cancer after completing clinical trials. This is very promising! Extensive research is being done to provide more effective treatment options for triple negative breast cancer patients.
Is a breast cancer clinical trial right for you?
If you appear to be a good candidate for one of the breast cancer research trials available at Cancer Care Centers of Brevard, your oncologist may ask you to meet with a clinical research nurse at one of our locations to review the trial’s selection criteria. The specific requirements for each trial vary and the research nurse will ask questions that help them determine if you’ll be able to participate. If you are eligible and agree to participate you will be enrolled.
Treatments being researched by the breast cancer specialists at Cancer Care Centers of Brevard have already been proven safe for humans. However, every patient who volunteers to participate in a breast cancer trial is carefully monitored by our cancer research specialists at our offices to determine the treatment's effectiveness. Patients will also be carefully monitored for side effects. If a treatment isn’t working for a patient on a clinical trial, the research team will attempt to seek out another option that has the potential to be more effective.
At Cancer Care Centers of Brevard, we are involved in a large number of active trials, not only for breast cancer but also for lung cancer, ovarian cancer, prostate cancer, and many more. Continuing to provide our community with access to promising new therapies that may become tomorrow's gold standard remains a top priority at Cancer Care Centers of Brevard.
Participating in a clinical trial is a personal choice that should be made after careful consideration. However, if it is something that interests you, you should talk with your oncologist.