Cancer Research

More than 400 anticancer drugs are presently in the development stage – more than any other class of therapeutic pharmaceuticals. Yet, the journey from development to approval for patient use is often arduous due to a lack of clinical-trial participants. US Oncology is helping to change that.

Through our Cancer Research Services division, we are providing patients with research at the local level, bringing investigational therapies closer to patients who might qualify for participation in clinical trials.

Our single Institutional Review Board, integrated research information platform, common protocols, rapid data sharing, and high-quality regulatory processes offer a streamlined approach that accelerates the delivery of investigational therapies to the community setting. Collaborating with leading pharmaceutical and biotechnology firms, our more than 600 community-based researchers are responsible for:

One of the broadest portfolios of investigational molecules and Phase I-IV clinical trials.
Accruing more than 4,000 patients to clinical trials on an annual basis.
Conducting approximately 90 trials at more than 200 nationwide research locations each year.
Recruiting more than 16,000 cancer patients into clinical trials in the last nine years.
Playing a pivotal role in the approval of 11 anticancer drugs in the last nine years.
Many people are under the impression that cancer research is conducted only at large university cancer centers or major metropolitan hospitals. This is no longer the case. Florida Cancer Institute physicians are part of an organization called U.S. Oncology. This affiliation allows us to bring the most recent and meaningful advances in medical science directly to your community. Our patients are able to receive state-of-the-art, investigational therapies, while their own physician directs and closely monitors their care. Better still, patients are able to remain at home, near family and loved ones.

We believe that research often holds an important key to treating cancer, including access to investigational new drugs, reduction of treatment related side effects and other new methods of care. This research can lead to higher quality treatments with the ability to achieve better outcomes for cancer patients.

Research studies, also called clinical trials, are conducted to answer important medical and scientific questions to find better ways to treat diseases such as cancer. Clinical trials evaluate and study investigational drugs, combinations of investigational and standard drugs or different ways of giving drugs. Researchers must believe that a study drug or method will be as good as or better than what is currently being used or they would not offer it to patients.

Patients choose to take part in clinical trials for many reasons. Some may hope for a cure, for a longer time to live and for a way to feel better. Others want to be among the first to receive research treatments and investigational drugs because standard therapies are not optimal for their cancer. Most people want to know that their efforts will make a difference for future cancer patients.

Cancer research studies are divided into several types. Studies that are considered Phase One are generally the first time a drug is given to cancer patients. In Phase One studies, physicians want to know the best dose of drug to give a patient. More importantly they want to know how well a patient tolerates the drug and any side effects the drug may cause. They also want to know what dose of the drug is best at destroying cancer cells and what kind of cancers are best destroyed by a study drug. In Phase Two, a small number of patients with a particular type of cancer receive the study drug at the dose that was found to be safe and most effective in the Phase One studies. The purpose of Phase Two studies is to better define the effectiveness and safety of study agents in treating different types of cancer.

Only a small number of patients participate in Phase One and Phase Two studies. The next step, Phase Three studies, have greater numbers of patient participation. They are designed to confirm the findings of the Phase One and Phase Two studies in a larger group of patients. They also compare the study treatment with drugs physicians are currently using or what is considered the standard treatment.

Before a new research study is considered by your physician, it undergoes extensive evaluation to determine if it is beneficial for patients. Such a study is reviewed to assure that the medical science is promising and safe and that it fulfills the highest standards of quality. Florida Cancer Institute conducts Phase One, Two and Three research studies focused on cutting edge treatments. Patients on clinical trials in the Florida Cancer Institute network are closely monitored through every aspect of care. Special research nurses and staff work directly with our physicians and are dedicated specifically to patients on a clinical trial.

As part of one of the largest private cancer research programs in the country, the physicians of Florida Cancer Institute are proud to of the progress US Oncology has made by bringing investigational therapies closer to patients in their local communities.

Collaborating with leading pharmaceutical and biotechnology firms, our more than 600 community-based researchers are responsible for:
• One of the broadest portfolios of investigational molecules and Phase I-IV clinical trials.
• Accruing more than 4,000 patients to clinical trials on an annual basis.
• Conducting approximately 90 trials at more than 200 nationwide research locations each year.
• Recruiting more than 16,000 cancer patients into clinical trials in the last nine years.
• Playing a pivotal role in the approval of 11 anticancer drugs in the last nine years.