Clinical Trials

Haematology and Oncology Trials Team

Clinical trials are used to help produce more effective cancer treatments. Trials commonly involve new cancer medicines or examine new approaches to chemotherapy, surgery or radiotherapy.

The Andrew Love Cancer Centre at Barwon Health, Geelong, has a long history of conducting clinical trials to a high standard, with a clinical trials unit established in 1997. Since that time, a large number of patients have been able to participate in a clinical trial through the Haematology and Oncology Trials Team (HOTT).

The trials we participate in provide coverage for a wide range of malignant and haematological conditions, and are chosen to address important issues relevant to our patients. All trials accepted at the Andrew Love Cancer Centre are both scientifically and ethically sound.

Barwon Health is a member of Cancer Trials Australia , enabling us access a diverse range of expertise and technology in other research institutes, hospitals, and health organisations spread across multiple sites.

Your doctor will discuss any trials that you may be eligible to participate in.

Why participate in a clinical trial?

Clinical trials are the best way of testing a new treatment, or seeing whether a particular treatment works better than another.

Trials are an important final step in a long process to prove the effectiveness and safety of cancer treatments. Trial treatments may involve radiotherapy, chemotherapy, surgery, molecular therapy, and complementary therapies. Many people with cancer are now living longer, with a better quality of life, due to clinical trials.

Researchers must follow strict guidelines to ensure studies are as safe as possible for everyone involved, and all studies must be approved by specially appointed research and ethics committees.

Advantages of being in a clinical trial include:

  • If you are on a clinical trial you may receive a newer treatment that is not yet available to the general public
  • the newer treatment may be more effective than standard treatments
  • your progress will be monitored closely by doctors and other health professionals
  • you have the opportunity to be the first to benefit from the new method being studied
  • people who join clinical trials will also be helping other people who are diagnosed with cancer in the future.

What are the possible disadvantages of being on a trial?

There are advantages to being involved in a clinical trial like accessing programs, medicines or treatments that aren't widely available. However, joining a study doesn't always mean you will be better off than before or compared to other people in a similar situation. Either way you'll be informed of all possible risks and benefits before making a decision.

Disadvantages of being in a clinical trial include:

  • it’s not possible to choose which treatment to have
  • the newer treatment might not be more effective than standard treatments
  • the newer treatment might have more or different side effects compared with standard treatments
  • even if a new treatment has benefits, it may not work for you
  • more tests may be needed during and after treatment than with standard treatments
  • you may require more visits to the hospital for assessment
  • it may be necessary to fill in more forms and surveys than with standard treatments
  • there is a chance that if you are in the control group you will not receive the newer treatment.

Contact

Dr Lea-Anne Harrison

Phone: +61 3 421 52758 or +61 2 421 52701
Fax: (03) 4215 2669
[email protected]

Barwon Health
Andrew Love Cancer Centre, Level 3
Haematology and Oncology Trials Team (HOTT)
PO Box 281, Geelong, Victoria, Australia 3220

For a list of trials that we are involved in, please visit the Cancer Council Victoria.