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Clinical Trials

Clinical trials are a vital part of modern cancer care. Many of today’s most effective treatments were developed through clinical trials.

Thanks to partnerships with the Colorado Cancer Research Program and the Rocky Mountain Cancer Centers, we are able to offer our cancer patients access to a wide range of clinical trials. Many of the trials we offer are the same studies offered at major U.S. cancer centers such as the Mayo Clinic and MD Anderson Cancer Center.

Clinical trials, also known as research studies, test ways to treat people with cancer. The goal of this research is to find better ways to treat cancer and help cancer patients.

Clinical trials test many types of treatment such as:

  • New drugs
  • New approaches to surgery or radiation therapy
  • New combinations of current treatments
  • Completely new methods

Click here for cancer trials currently available through the Colorado Cancer Research Program
Click here for cancer trials currently available through the Rocky Mountain Cancer Centers

Each clinical trial has an action plan (protocol) that explains how it will work. Each doctor that takes part uses the same protocol.

Here are some suggestions for talking with your doctor or members of a research team:

  • Consider taking a family member or friend along for support and help in asking questions or recording answers
  • Plan ahead what to ask—but don’t hesitate to ask any new questions you think of while you’re there
  • Write down your questions in advance to make sure you remember to ask them all
  • Write down the answers so that you can review them whenever you want
  • Consider bringing a tape recorder to make a taped record of what is said, even if you write it down

The following questions can be helpful in determining whether to join a study:

The Study

  • What is the purpose of the study?
  • Why do researchers think the approach may be effective?
  • Who has reviewed and approved the study?
  • How are study results and the safety of participants being checked?
  • How long will the study last?
  • What are my responsibilities if I participate?

Possible Risks and Benefits

  • What are my possible short-term benefits?
  • What are my possible long-term benefits?
  • What are my short-term risks such as side effects?
  • What are my possible long-term risks?
  • What other options do people with my type of cancer have?
  • How do the possible risks and benefits of this trial compare with those options?

Participation and Care

  • What kinds of therapies, procedures and/or tests will I have during the trial?
  • Will they hurt and, if so, for how long?
  • How do the tests in the study compare with those I would have outside of the trial?
  • Will I be able to take my regular medications while in the clinical trial?
  • Where will I have my medical care?
  • Who will be in charge of my care?

Personal Issues

  • How could being in this study affect my daily life?
  • Can I talk to other people in the study?


  • Will I have to pay for any part of the trial such as tests or the study drug?
  • If so, what will the charges likely be?
  • What is my health insurance likely to cover?
  • Who can help answer any questions from my insurance company or health plan?
  • Will there be any travel or child care costs that I need to consider while I am in the trial?
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