Conducted in hospitals, veterans’ medical centers, university hospitals, medical clinics, cancer centers or physicians’ offices, cancer clinical trials test drugs, blood products, medical devices, biologics and other therapies that have the potential for treating cancer. Locations of cancer clinical trials may depend on whether unique resources are necessary for conducting the trial as rigorously as possible. In addition, location may be influenced by the number of subjects required and/or how much interest the institution or individual shows in having a clinical trial take place at their location.
Examples of the various places where cancer clinical trials conducted can be found on the ClinicalTrials.gov website. Some of the locations currently accepting participants include the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, TX, the Sun Yat-sen University Cancer Center in Guangzhou, Guangdong, China and the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in NYC.
Clinical Trial Locations and Protocols
Establishing a location for a completing a cancer clinical trial involves developing protocols for ensuring the location is optimized for research quality and validity. Pre-assessment of possible site locations requires approval from regulatory agencies as well as ethics committees. Trial locations should be equipped with personnel and devices pertinent and necessary to recording investigational results. In addition, trial sites should not pose any health risks to subjects participating in the trial.
Studies reveal that inferior trial qualities stemming from wrong location choices or lack of adherence to protocols can distort outcomes of trials. Although site selection is typically not addressed as seriously as other aspects of clinical trials, it does demand adequate attention by sponsors to guarantee the trial meets or exceeds components supporting the study’s success. Location selection should also consider population/demographic targets of a proposed clinical trial to ensure validity of results.
Any new cancer treatment included in a clinical trial must be thoroughly evaluated to determine if the treatment poses a health risk to human subjects. Research regarding potential health risks may be performed at the site of the proposed clinical cancer trial or at another location. Cancer therapies producing excellent safety profiles and presenting promising results may then move into the clinical trial phase using human volunteers.
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