Every drug available on the market today went through extensive research before being approved. There’s a step-by-step process for how new drugs are developed. In cancer, that begins in a laboratory. If the drug seems to work there, we then move on to animal studies. If the drug seems to work and the toxicities are acceptable and the side effects aren’t too bad, we then move on to testing in humans. The earliest trials in humans are called phase 1 clinical trials. Ochsner Precision Cancer Therapies program is the region’s only center dedicated to bringing early phase cancer clinical trials to the patients of our region. We’ve partnered with TGen, a leading not-for-profit research organization to make the center a reality today. We know more about genes than ever before and with the mapping of the human genome we’re shifting away from treating cancer based on the tumor of origin and towards treating it based on the genetics of the tumor itself. Our partnership with TGen allows us to test an individual’s cancer. We can use this genetic information to pair an individual patient with a therapy that may be highly appropriate and highly efficacious in their particular situation. Patients should consider a clinical trial because it really offers a lot of advantages. First, patients may have access to the most innovative therapies on a clinical trial. They also have access to an expert treatment team, including research nurses who can be invaluable. And finally patients on clinical trials tend to have better outcomes. If you’re interested in learning more about a clinical trial talk to your doctor to learn whether this might be an appropriate choice for you. You can also visit our website for a list of current active enrolling clinical trials or call us to make an appointment. We’d be happy to sit down with you for an evaluation and to discuss your options.