Today’s cancer treatments were yesterday’s clinical trials. In cancer research, a clinical trial is a study conducted with patients to evaluate a new treatment.

Investigational treatment can be a completely new drug, not yet approved for use, or can be using an approved drug for a new indication, or in a different way.

Observational clinical trials are conducted to gain information from patients with a specific diagnosis or patients receiving specific treatment.

The search for good cancer treatments begins with basic research. The best results of that research are tried in patient studies, hopefully leading to findings that may help many people. Many clinical trials are for observation purposes only. Before a new treatment is tried with patients, it is carefully studied in the laboratory. This research points out the new methods likely to succeed and, as much as possible, shows how to use them safely and effectively. But this early research cannot predict exactly how a new treatment will work with patients.

With any new treatment there may be risks as well as possible benefits. There may also be some risks that are not yet known. Clinical trials help us to find out whether a promising new treatment is safe and effective for patients. During a trial, information is gained about a new treatment, its risks and how well it may or may not work, by comparing it to “standard” therapy. Every clinical trial at CRMC goes through a careful process of reviews and approvals before it is opened for participation.

Only those patients who wish to participate take part in the clinical trial. You may be interested in or asked to enter a trial. Learn as much as you can about the trial before you make up your mind. You will be given a consent form to review and have all of your questions answered before deciding to participate in a clinical trial.

The Cancer Center clinical trials department has dedicated full-time staff:

  • Kayla Greer, RN, BSN, clinical research coordinator
  • Brenda Davis-Bryant, BSN, clinical trials data manager

If you are interested in finding out more about our clinical trials program or to learn more about current studies, please contact us at 931-783-5755. To view available clinical trials nationwide, visit