Developmental Therapeutics for Patients

What is a Phase I clinical trial?

The main goal of a Phase I clinical trial is to establish a therapy’s safety and tolerability. In a Phase I clinical trial, new therapies or combinations of therapies are tested against the current standard of care to see if they’re better than those that are presently available. These trials are very small-scale (with around 20-50 patients participating) and treatment plans are highly involved, with entire teams of doctors overseeing the care of individual patients.

Overview of Siteman’s Phase I clinical trial program

Siteman makes leading-edge therapies available at a centrally located institution in the heart of the Midwest.

When a physician has a patient and wants to know if he or she qualifies for a trial, Siteman reviews trial options and identifies those for which the patient is eligible. If the patient is approved, he or she is given all the necessary information about the studies (including potential side effects and appointment schedules).

What is a typical patient experience like on a Phase I clinical trial at Siteman?

Phase I clinical trials vary in length and may be time consuming.  In some cases, patients must receive treatment multiple times a week for the first 1-5 months.

While this treatment regimen may seem daunting, there are major benefits to taking part in a Phase I clinical trial when it comes to level of care. At Siteman, you will have a full team of doctors overseeing your treatment, observing you much more closely than if you were receiving the standard of care. Because the side effects of Phase I clinical trial drugs are unknown, everything is treated more acutely than with standard therapies. Washington University Physicians at Siteman are diligent about monitoring patients and conduct testing to keep a close eye on side effects, making your health a top priority and working to ensure that your treatment is progressing.

What are the biggest risks of participating in a Phase I clinical trial?

For any patient taking part in a Phase I clinical trial, the biggest risk is that the side effects are unknown. However, in spite of the risks associated with Phase I clinical trials, it is important to keep in mind that these trials have led to significant advances in cancer treatment. If you are considering participating in a Phase I clinical trial at Siteman, know that your team of doctors will make your health a top priority.