Find a Clinical Trial
Clinical trials are at the heart of all cancer treatment advances, and only through research and collaborative science can oncologists and other healthcare experts gain insights into even more ways to prevent, detect, treat and cure cancer.
The internationally recognized oncology experts within Miami Cancer Institute at Baptist Health South Florida’s robust Clinical Trials Program combine the best of clinical research with the best of patient care.
Patients on Cancer Clinical Trials During COVID-19 Pandemic
In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, cancer, unfortunately, doesn’t rest. Thankfully, neither do the cancer experts at Miami Cancer Institute. One of the hallmarks of our cancer program is access to the latest clinical trials. In part, that’s how we achieve the best outcomes possible. But whether you’re currently enrolled in a clinical trial or whether you’re newly diagnosed and considering a clinical trial as part of your treatment, you may be wondering if your clinical trial could be affected by the increased risk of COVID-19 infection. Scott Lipkin, DPM, Chief Research Officer at Miami Cancer Institute at Baptist Health South Florida, and his team work with cancer patients every day, helping them make the best decisions for their care and answering their questions about cancer clinical trials.
Frequently Asked Questions
This is an excellent question and one best answered in consultation with the principal investigator of the clinical trial and your care team. They are uniquely qualified to fully understand your cancer, the details of the clinical trial, and the treatments you’re receiving and the risks of continuing or stopping those treatments. At Miami Cancer Institute, we have more than 350 patients on 120 cancer trials. For some patients, starting or continuing their participation in a clinical trial is critically important to their overall care and achieving the best possible outcome. Other patients, however, can delay or pause their participation in a clinical trial without negatively impacting their outcomes. Again, your Miami Cancer Institute care team is best qualified to help you make those decisions.
Cancer clinical trials usually require increased patient monitoring and health assessments throughout the course of treatment. Traditionally, those assessments have required in-person examinations and meetings with the research care team. However, in response to COVID-19 and the need to increase patient safety by decreasing in-person visits, the US Food and Drug Administration recently approved alternative ways to monitor and assess patients on clinical trials. Additionally, at Miami Cancer Institute, we have established procedures to review each clinical trial patient visit to determine if it is clinically necessary. Some visits may be completed through virtual- and tele-visits. Talk with your research care team about how these technologies can be used to help keep your doctors informed of your progress, answer your questions and keep you home instead of in the clinic or doctor’s office.
To further protect our cancer patients, Miami Cancer Institute has implemented many enhancements to limit exposure to infection. We encourage our cancer patients who visit our facilities to remember the following:
- If you have a fever, cough or shortness of breath, contact your care team before coming to Miami Cancer Institute for your clinical trial treatment.
- Patients go through a robust COVID-19 screening prior to office visits and upon arrival for their appointment. And there are designated entrances for cancer patients having specific treatments.
- Staff also go through the screening process.
- To further limit the risk of exposure, guest are not allowed to accompany you to your treatment. The exception is pediatric patients, who may have one guest age 18+ with them.
- You must wear a mask when you come to Miami Cancer Institute.
Clinical trials offer hopeOrganized around nine cancer-specific research groups, the Cancer Institute’s Clinical Research Program is designed to focus on breakthrough research, discoveries and therapies.
The oncologic specialists are members of one of nine tumor site teams, and each Cancer Institute team is led by a dedicated physician and supported by highly trained clinical research staff. The Clinical Trials Office also supports these teams with centralized business operations and quality assurance measures.
Additionally, our close collaborations with our colleagues at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, along with our partnership in the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Alliance, as well as other partnerships and collaborations in novel clinical trials, mean the Cancer Institute offers you and your patients access to a broad range of leading-edge clinical trials – facilitating access to potentially promising new therapies not yet available to the general market.
Our unique collaborations – combined with the advanced technology utilized by our genomic center specialists – create a Clinical Trials program virtually unmatched by any other in South Florida and considered among one of the best in the nation.
Clinical trials are at the heart of all medical advances
Only through clinical research can we gain insights into new ways to prevent and detect cancer and learn about the safety and efficacy of new therapies and medicines.View Clinical Trials
Frequently Asked Questions
Clinical trials are designed by physicians and researchers who develop an action plan (protocol) that describes the study’s objective, steps, methodologies and schedule. Doctors also evaluate criteria such as your cancer type, age, gender, medical history and current health status to determine your eligibility for participation in the study.
A doctor or research nurse from the research team will provide you with important facts about the clinical trial. You will learn about its purpose, tests and procedures as well as possible risks and benefits.
Clinical trials are conducted in accordance with strict scientific and ethical principles. Groups of experts at the national and local levels, including the Institutional Review Board (IRB) of the research organization implementing the trial, approve research studies before they begin. An IRB, which is comprised of doctors, researchers, community leaders and other consumers, protects your safety by ensuring the study is conducted fairly and you are well-informed of your rights during the study. If you choose to participate in the study, you will be asked to sign a consent form that explains the study. However, even if you sign the consent form, you may stop participating in the study at any time.
- You may have access to promising new therapies that doctors hope will be more effective or less toxic than the standard treatment. In many cases, these therapies are not yet available to patients outside the study.
- You can play an active role in your cancer care by expanding your treatment options.
- You will receive expert medical care during the trial and throughout your treatment.
- Your overall health is closely monitored throughout the trial.
- Participants in randomized studies will not choose the approach they receive.
- Therapies under study are not always better than the standard care.
- New treatments may have unknown side effects or risks.
- What is the purpose of this study?
- How will it help me or other patients?
- What side effects might I experience?
- What other treatment options are available?
- Are there possible long-term risks?
- How will participating in this study affect my daily life?
- What are the treatments, medical tests or procedures I will undergo during the study?
- Who will oversee my care?
- How long will the study last?
- Will my health insurance cover treatments and tests I receive as part of this study?
- What kind of follow-up care will I receive after the study?
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