Oncology Clinical Research Trials

The Cancer Institute at St. Francis Hospital offers a variety of clinical trials to patients for their voluntary participation. A clinical trial is a way to answer scientific questions regarding a new medication or device.

Prior to any clinical trial commencing, it is first reviewed and approved by both the St. Francis Hospital Scientific Review Committee, which must assure the scientific validity of the trial, and the St. Francis Hospital Institutional Review Board (IRB). The IRB includes physicians, pharmacists, nurses, lay people, and others who work together to ensure that the research being done meets federal guidelines for protection of human subjects in research.

Research patients who volunteer are asked to sign an Informed Consent prior to participating in clinical trials. This document is reviewed with the patient by the physician and the research nurse. The consent form explains why the research is being done, what the patient can expect, any risks associated with the research and whom to contact with any questions. All clinical research is voluntary and patients are informed that they can withdraw at any time. Some clinical trials are at no cost to the patient, while some trials do carry costs. Such costs are carefully explained prior to commencement.

These trials are currently open to enrollment:

  • Cardiotoxicity and Cardiac Imaging - This study is being done to determine the best way to detect any undesirable effect on the heart in patients being treated with certain types of cancer treatment. Imaging of the heart is performed with an echocardiogram, CT scan and an optional cardiac MRI. Normal volunteers, matched in age and gender to each enrolled subject are recruited to provide normal reference images to compare to those obtained in enrolled subjects.
  • Celgene Myelodysplastic Syndrome (MDS) /Acute Myeloid Leukemia (AML) Registry - Patients diagnosed with MDS or AML are being followed at periodic intervals for information about their disease, treatment and response.
  • Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia (CLL) Registry - Patients who are about to start treatment for CLL are enrolled and followed at various time points.
  • Merck Head and Neck Study - This study involves Pembrolizumab to treat metastatic or recurrent head and neck cancer. Pembrolizumab is a type of drug called an immune checkpoint drug. Cancer cells protect themselves by blocking the body’s natural immune response. These drugs allow the immune response to be unblocked and this process works to treat the cancer.

Should you have questions, please call the Cancer Institute’s Research Department: 516-325-7513 or 516-562-6790.