It’s hard to find someone whose life hasn’t been impacted somehow by cancer -but knowing where to turn can make all the difference. Today we have Dr. Nehal Lakhanifrom the Cancer and Hematology Centers of Western Michigan to discuss clinical trials right here in our area.
When standard of care is no longer an option, you don’t have to leave West Michigan to get the best new treatments, they are right here at START Midwest.
Three and a half years ago Cancer and Hematology Center of Western Michigan announced a new partnership with San Antonio-based South Texas Accelerated Research Therapeutics, better known as START. The program is called START Midwest and offers phase I clinical trials for cancer patients.
Phase I is the most important step in the development of a new drug or therapy. During this phase, a treatment’s safety, dosage, and side effects are determined. Phase I trials involve a small number of patients (20-80) for whom standard therapies have proven ineffective or for whom alternative therapies are unavailable. Prior to being tested in a Phase I trial, a treatment has been tested at length in the lab on animals, and the drug has been deemed safe for use in humans.
Advanced cancer patients in Western Michigan have first-ever access to medicines early in their development which could be their only hope for treatment. A phase 1 clinical trial patient typically is not responding to standard cancer treatment.