With so many different types of breast cancer, it’s safe to say that breast cancer treatment is anything but one-size-fits-all. And even though some breast cancer types have well-established treatment protocols that have proven to work effectively for many patients, there’s usually room for improvement. That’s where clinical trials and research come into play— particularly, 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 or clinical trials may include looking at new potential treatment options.
As a member of US Oncology Research, Rocky Mountain Cancer Centers (RMCC) can provide access to the latest clinical trials throughout Colorado. These breast cancer clinical trials help uncover various new treatment options, including new breast cancer treatments, giving many of our patients the opportunity to receive newly developed therapies or investigational drugs not yet available outside the study.
All new drugs and treatments have to be thoroughly tested before they are licensed and available for patients. For example, before a new breast cancer treatment is introduced to patients across the country, certain FDA (Federal Drug Administration) requirements must be met to show that the cancer treatment is effective and safe, and to determine the right amount and timing of the doses.
If the new cancer treatment can be proven safe and effective for the types of patients the trial has targeted then the FDA will be able to approve it for use among all patients in the U.S. with the same type of cancer.
Since breast cancer treatment is based on hormone receptors that are or are not present, your RMCC oncologist will first run a test to see if one of three different hormone receptors are present. If the cancer cells lack any hormone receptors it is considered triple-negative breast cancer.
Triple-negative breast cancer is being researched heavily right now to find a combination of therapies that work to battle this typically aggressive type of cancer. 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.
Participating in a clinical trial is a personal choice that should be made after careful consideration. However, if it is something that interests you should talk with your oncologist. If your oncologist thinks you would be a good fit for one of the breast cancer research trials, the next step will be to meet with a clinical research nurse at one of our convenient locations to review the trial’s selection criteria, which vary for each researched treatment.
Treatments being researched by the breast cancer specialists at RMCC have already been proven safe for humans. However, you will still be carefully monitored by our cancer research specialists at our offices to determine the effectiveness of the treatment. You will also be carefully monitored for side effects. If a particular treatment isn’t working for you, the research team will meet to determine if a different treatment option is available that has the potential to be more effective.
It’s our hope that the clinical trial results will make a helpful impact and then ultimately provide new, successful, FDA-approved treatment options for breast cancer.
At Rocky Mountain Cancer Centers, we are involved with several clinical trials throughout the state of Colorado. In addition to our many breast cancer trials, we offer trials for lung cancer, prostate cancer, ovarian 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 RMCC. For more information on participating in a trial or you would like to learn more about our other clinical trials, please ask your breast cancer care specialists.