About Clinical Research
UT Health Austin’s Livestrong Cancer Institutes currently provide care to those diagnosed with or at risk of gynecologic cancer as well as individuals diagnosed with gastrointestinal, head and neck, hematologic, and lung cancers.
Individuals with certain cancer diagnoses or with particular treatment plans may be eligible to participate in clinical research at the Livestrong Cancer Institutes. The goal of clinical research is to better understand new drugs or new drug combinations.
Donation of tissue and other samples for pre-clinical research is also currently available at our cancer center. These samples help researchers better understand how cancer arises and how to better treat cancer in addition to aiding in the development of new treatments to test in clinical trials.
Who should participate in clinical research
Not all patients are eligible for clinical research, and eligibility criteria will vary depending the on clinical trial available. Criteria may include a number of different factors, such as age, diagnosis, medical history, or treatment plan and medications.
To determine if clinical research should be included in your cancer treatment plan, discuss your options with your care team.
What clinical research looks like
Prior to starting a clinical trial, meeting with our clinical research team may include reviewing the following:
- Your personal medical history and diagnosis
- Risks and benefits associated with clinical research
- Details of potential clinical research opportunities, including those with potential therapeutic benefit (clinical trial) and those without any potential therapeutic benefit (tissue donation)
- Clinical research protocol, the rules our clinical research team is required to follow to keep you safe, and what will be expected of you
Once you and our care team decide that participating in a clinical trial is right for you, we will work with you to complete the following:
- Informed consent, ensuring that you: have all the information that you need before you opt in, understand your privacy rights, and know that you can opt out at any time
- Your screening, which may include: a physical exam, blood work, and imaging
Only through pre-clinical and clinical research can new drugs be developed and tested. Participating in a clinical trial provides the opportunity for patients to benefit from new therapies and approaches to cancer care. All current and standard of care cancer treatment options went through a clinical trial process before being approved and becoming available to patients.
Our clinical research team coordinates with the patient’s medical oncologist, advanced practice provider, and other providers so that the entire care team is aware of a patient’s needs and preferences. Patients participating in clinical research at UT Health Austin can access the full service array available at the Livestrong Cancer Institutes, including palliative and supportive care, nutrition support, and social, emotional, and mental health support.
What clinical research is not
Clinical research is not just an option for late-stage disease. Some clinical trials can focus on improving early diagnosis, stopping the recurrence of cancer, reducing side effects, or improving quality of life. Federal laws and regulations ensure safety and ethical standards for all clinical research participation.
If you have a cancer diagnosis and are interested in possibly participating in clinical research at UT Health Austin, call to make an appointment at 1-833-UT-CARES (1-833-882-2737) or email our clinical research team at CaLM@austin.utexas.edu.
All clinical trial opportunities at our cancer center and others can be found on clinicaltrials.gov.