Staff Report

Dignity Health Cancer Care has partnered with CommonSpirit Research Institute and National Cancer Institute (NCI) Community Oncology Research Program to provide patients increased access to clinical research trials. These partnerships allow Dignity Health Cancer Care physicians to offer nearly 100 active trials to patients they treat within our communities. 

Participation in a clinical trial gives a patient access to treatments that may not be readily available for years to come. The knowledge gained from clinical trials give scientists and physicians better guidance to prevent, diagnose, treat and relieve symptoms of cancer.

“A clinical trial is when we investigate new ways to approach and treat cancer,” says Tom Spillane, M.D., SLO Oncology and Hematology. “Clinical trials give patients access to new technology and new treatments.”

Cancer is no longer treated with just chemotherapy and radiation; tumors are now able to be identified more precisely by their chemical and biological makeup. Through clinical trials, doctors are able to determine whether new treatments are safe and effective and whether they work better than current treatments. 

“Having access to so many clinical trials means we can put the right patient on the right trial, opening a new spectrum of opportunity for targeted treatment,” says Robert Dichmann, M.D., Mission Hope Cancer Center.

Patients participating in clinical trials are given the opportunity to be a part of advancing what we know about cancer diagnoses, therapy options, and tumor biology.