Advances in Cancer Clinical Trials

Print icon

It’s frightening to receive a cancer diagnosis. But there is more hope than ever before: clinical trials have been a key part of cancer patients living longer with better outcomes. Dr. Peter Yu is physician-in-chief at the Hartford HealthCare Cancer Institute, a charter member of the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Alliance. He talks about the importance of cancer clinical trials, and what they mean for cancer care, both now and in the future. 

Q: What is the impact of clinical research – particularly cancer clinical trials – in patient treatment today?

A: There are more patients being cured and living longer than ever before. But that’s a testament to the clinical trials that have been going on for the past few decades. Without those clinical trials, we would not have the treatments that are working so well today. And we need to continue to do clinical trials because we need to continue to have better treatments and have patients live longer and with better quality of life.

Q: What is your response to patients and their family members who may be afraid of the phrase “clinical trial?”

A: I would say the number one worry that people have about clinical trials is placebo. They will ask “How do I know that I’m not gonna get some dummy treatment or sugar pill?”

The fact of the matter is that that is very, very rare today because of all the successes we’ve had in treatment. So it’s almost unthinkable that there would be no option whatsoever. What we often do today is a randomization, where the patient will get some treatment versus some experimental treatment. And that some treatment is what we call the current standard of care, or the best available care to our knowledge, but it’s usually not the best treatment that we hope to have someday. Every patient with cancer, working together with their healthcare team, with other patients around the country to advance cures.

Learn more about the clinical cancer trials available through the Hartford HealthCare Cancer Institute alliance with Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center here


What's New


Multiple Sclerosis: New Program, New Treatments

Each week, an estimated 200 Americans are diagnosed with multiple sclerosis (MS). But new treatments bring new hope, according to neuro-immunologist Dr. Brian Wong. He is helping to launch a comprehensive multiple sclerosis program at Hartford HealthCare’s Ayer Neuroscience Institute. Q: What is neuro-immunology? A: Neuro-immunology is a subspecialty of...

Vaping

E-Cigarettes & Vaping: What Parents Need to Know

More teens are vaping now than ever – and parents are concerned. Psychiatrist Dr. J. Craig Allen, medical director at Rushford, has important information for parents, teachers and anyone else with teens in their lives. Q: What do I need to be on the lookout for? A: Familiarize yourself with...


MidState Medical Center Receives Breastfeeding Award

Baby-Friendly USA recently re-designated MidState Medical Center as a Baby-Friendly birth facility. “We are proud to be recognized as a ‘Baby-Friendly’ hospital,” said Amy Kelleher, Director of Women and Infant Services at MidState Medical Center. “Our Family Birthing Center team members are committed to creating the best breast-feeding experience to...


Increased Access to Specialty Services, Growth on the Shoreline and Plainfield and Enhanced Coordination of Care Highlight Backus and Windham Hospital Annual Meeting

Backus Hospital and Windham Hospital experienced a year of growth, increased access to specialty services in the community and enhanced care coordination in 2018, according to Hartford HealthCare East Region President Donna Handley at the combined Annual Meeting of the two hospitals on Nov. 7. The meeting, the theme of...

Seasonal soup.

Seasonal, Good-For-You Recipe: Ginger Lentil Butternut Squash Soup

By Jeanne Tennis Here’s a delicious and healthy butternut squash soup recipe that’s perfect for the fall-winter season: Ginger Lentil Butternut Squash Soup (Seasonal, plant-based and gluten-Free) Ingredients 1 medium onion, diced 1 – 2 celery stalks, diced 1 – 2 Tablespoons of olive oil or water to sauté 1...


Indoor Exercise Ideas to Keep You Active in the Colder Months

As the temperature drops and the daylight hours begin to fade away, there’s no excuse to stop your exercise activities just because you can’t be outdoors anymore.  Those looking to keep up with their exercise routines during the winter months have plenty of options to stay in shape even as...


Weight Loss Surgery: Can Success Be Predicted?

Weight loss surgery has become an effective tool in treating obesity, especially in people who have not benefitted from diet and exercise. Along with reduced weight – about 30% on average – there is improved health for many who undergo this surgery: lowered blood pressure, reduced sleep apnea, and even...