The latest clinical research and collaborative care is at the Adventist HealthCare Shady Grove Medical CenterAquilino Cancer Center

It is the future of medicine and the hope for an end to disease. Clinical trials study the effectiveness and risks of medications as well as how patients respond to a new treatment. And now, with the support of the National Cancer Institute (NCI) at the National Institutes of Health, clinical trials are offered at the Adventist HealthCare Shady Grove Medical CenterAquilino Cancer Center.

“We are proud to give our patients the opportunity to take part in the types of advanced research available at academic centers, right here in their own community,” says Mikhail Kalnitskiy, the NCI clinical research manager based at the Aquilino Cancer Center.

Wide-Ranging Research

The research team at the Aquilino Cancer Center is running Phase I–IV clinical trials. According to the Food and Drug Administration, Phase I trials study whether a drug is safe. Phase II examines whether it works in patients. Phase III focuses on large groups of people to confi rm e ectiveness, monitor side e ects and compare it with standard treatments. Phase IV follows the treatment once it has gone to market to evaluate long-term use in a broader patient population.

“These types of clinical trials give cancer patients access to the most innovative treatments to attack the disease,” says John Wallmark, MD, a medical oncologist at Adventist HealthCare Shady Grove Medical Center and one of the physicians who oversee the Aquilino Cancer Center’s clinical trials program. “They also contribute to important advances in diagnosing, treating and preventing cancer.”

Access to Cancer Specialists

In addition to clinical trials, patients at the Aquilino Cancer Center have access to multidisciplinary clinics for breast, lung and prostate cancers. These specialty clinics put the patient at the center of the decision-making process about treatment and care planning. Each clinic includes many cancer specialists: medical oncologists, radiation oncologists, surgeons, oncology-certified nurses, cancer care navigator nurses, an oncology dietitian and a social worker.

Clinical trials and multidisciplinary clinics are just another way the Aquilino Cancer Center brings expert cancer care to people in Montgomery County. People who are interested in exploring clinical trials should speak with their cancer care physicians to see whether they are eligible to participate in this type of research.