Breast Cancer Research: Clinical Trials

clinical trial

When it comes to cancer, clinical trials are one of the biggest reasons we’ve seen gains in breast cancer survival over the past 40 years. And improved survival hasn’t been the only benefit.

Quality of life for people living with cancer has also improved as trials have helped identify more targeted treatments that can help limit many of the side effects of cancer therapies.

Most of us have heard the term “clinical trials” but haven’t given it much thought. Like a lot of important things that fly under the radar, clinical trials have had a huge impact on society.

At their most basic, clinical trial studies done in people test the safety and effectiveness of ways to prevent, detect or treat disease. Participants may benefit from clinical trials themselves, or their participation may benefit others in the future. They are the first to receive new treatments under investigation and, in cancer clinical trials, are guaranteed to receive the best standard care possible. And, clinical trials offer a way for women with breast cancer to play an active role in their own health care and help others by adding to medical research.

Most clinical research progresses through an orderly series of steps, called phases. This allows researchers to ask and answer questions in a way that results in reliable information, yet protects patients. Most clinical trials are classified into one of four phases, though there can be some overlap between types depending on the study.

Phase 1 (phase I): These first studies in people evaluate how a new drug should be given (by mouth, injected into the blood, or injected into the muscle), how often and what dose is safe

Phase 2 (phase II):A phase II trial continues to test the safety of the drug, and begins to evaluate how well the new drug works against a certain disease

Phase 3 (phase III): These studies test a new drug, a new combination of drugs or a new surgical procedure in comparison to the current standard of care. A participant will usually be assigned to the standard group or the new group at random (called randomization).

Phase 4 (phase IV): Trials study the long-term side effects of the treatments or procedures or answer new questions about the treatment or procedure.  They are done after a new breast cancer treatment or procedure is approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

There are many sources you can use for finding clinical trials. Each is a little different and some allow searching for trials based on factors like age, gender, breast cancer history, treatment history and geographic area as well as study-type preferences. For example, BreastCancerTrials.org in collaboration with Susan G. Komen®, offers a custom matching service that can help you find a clinical trial that fits your health needs. Though these sites can be helpful search tools, the best approach is to ask your doctor or local medical center for help finding an appropriate clinical trial.

 

Learn more: http://ww5.komen.org/BreastCancer/ClinicalTrials.html and http://ww5.komen.org/WhatWeDo/WeFundResearch/ClinicalTrialsWeAreFunding/ClinicalTrialsWeAreFunding.html

Jernigan continues prominent role on national advisory board for Susan G. Komen

Susan G. Komen Greater Kansas City is proud to continue local representation on the Susan G. Komen Scientific Advisory Board (SAB): Cheryl Jernigan, CPA, FACHE. Jernigan also serves on the Komen Kansas City Board of Directors. Her focus continues to be on patient and research advocacy; clinical trials, clinical data research; big data (BD4BC); and cancer prevention. Jernigan is also a 21-year breast cancer survivor and one of the leading team captains (based on dollars raised) for the local Race for the Cure.

Cheryl Jernigan - Mission Advisors Roster FY18_Page_1She was previously CEO of the Kansas City Area Hospital Association, and has over 20 years of experience in health policy, advocacy and community/national leadership on behalf of hospitals. She is Chair of the Breast Cancer Prevention Center’s Advocate Advisory Board for The University of Kansas Medical Center and The University of Kansas Hospital, and she is the Lead Advocate of Patient & Investigator Voices Organizing Together (PIVOT), a new University of Kansas Cancer Center initiative. Jernigan is a founding and current board member and Chair of the Strategic Mission Committee of the Greater Kansas City Komen Affiliate, and a member of the Steering Committee of Komen’s Advocates In Science program. An active research advocate, Jernigan is a member of many clinical trial initiatives, including the National Cancer Institute’s Central Institutional Review Board for Adult Late Phase Clinical Trials. Jernigan is also one of the experts involved with Komen’s big data initiative.

In addition to Jernigan, the Greater Kansas City community is fortunate to be the home of Komen Scholar Danny Welch, PHDProfessor and Chair, Adjunct faculty of Department of Molecular & Integrative Physiology. Welch, a researcher at the University of Kansas Medical Center, focuses on laboratory and translational research; metastasis; as well as mitochondrial genetics and mutations that lead to breast cancer. Welch is also a multi-year recipient of Komen Promise Grant dollars for his work on metastasis.

Click here to see a full list of the 2017-2018 Komen Mission Advisors..

Komen’s Mission Advisors

Komen’s Mission Advisors are the best and brightest researchers, clinicians, advocates & other experts who guide/help implement our mission programs.

Thanks to their efforts, we’re driving discovery, affecting change & accelerating progress in the fight against breast cancer.

The Scientific Advisory Board are providing strategic guidance for our research & scientific programs. They play a key role in prioritizing our global research investment. The SAB is led by the chief scientific advisors & acts as the executive committee of the Komen Scholars.

The Komen Scholars (KS) are an international group that has a wide range of expertise (clinical & laboratory research, surgery, pathology, prevention, disparities, radiation   oncology & other specialties).

They contribute in many ways to Komen’s mission programs & other activities/events with primary responsibility for leading & reviewing during Komen’s scientific peer review process. KS serve as ambassadors & experts in our communities and across the Affiliate Network.

Several of the KS are Advocates in Science who ensure that the unique perspectives of those affected by breast cancer are fully integrated in our decisions at every step of the research process.