Archive for the ‘Miscellaneous Comments’ Category

Sequential Therapies and Integration of Investigational Agents in Treatment of Metastatic Cancer

January 16, 2009

Broad advances in patient outcomes for patients with metastatic cancers have been noted in the past five years.  These improvements have occurred for a number of reasons.  Non-oncology physicians have been more active in encouraging patients to engage in therapy for advanced disease.  Oncologists have been armed with improved agents that boost response and improve disease control for longer periods, with reduced toxicity of the agents in most cases.  Supportive care efforts to minimize treatment risks and toxicities have reduced complications of therapy.  Treatment has nearly completely shifted to outpatient oncology infusion centers, improving convenience and lowering costs for treatment delivery. 

Clinical trial participation has also contributed to improving care and patient outcomes.  While a specific therapy may not always have an evident benefit in survival for an individual patient, the integration of new therapies by clinical trial participation may extend survival compared to sequential therapy with standard approved therapies alone.  That may be conceptually understood by the example below, where integration of trial agents X, Y, and Z to existing standard therapy with agents A, B, and C have improved survival expectations.   In this hypothetical example, the trial agents have had benefit.  However, even if an individual agent does not produce improvement, the sequential integration of such agents into the existing standard treatment paradigm gives the patient an expanded opportunity for having meaningful control of disease and improved survival. 

Hypothetical Example of Improved Survival by Integration of Investigational Drugs (X,Y,Z) to Existing Standard Therapy (A,B,C)

Hypothetical Example of Improved Survival by Integration of Investigational Drugs (X,Y,Z) to Existing Standard Therapy (A,B,C)

Such an approach has been the overlying theme of treatment at the Center for Oncology Research & Treatment (CORT) for over a decade.  At CORT, we plan our participation in clinical investigations with the premise that a patient may have a sequence of standard and investigational programs, such that failure of an individual treatment can be followed by another treatment option with cutting-edge new agents that have a significant chance to improve survival for our patients.

For more information about clinical trials at CORT, contact a Clinical Care Coordinator or Research Nurse at 972-566-5588 (Dallas), or 972-981-4012 (Plano), or visit our website at