Oncology Patient Advocates for Clinical Trials (OPACT) is a group of cancer survivors who have participated in clinical trials and seek to help other patients who may be considering clinical trials. We build bridges between patients, physicians, nurses, social workers and others who provide care to cancer patients considering participation in a Helen F. Graham Cancer Center & Research Institute clinical trial.
Our goal is to create awareness of the opportunities patients have in the clinical trial program. We will serve as a resource for both new patients considering clinical trials, and clinical trial practitioners to improve the the overall experience for the patient. We will communicate the trial results to patients once available and also celebrate our patients’ accomplishments through an annual event.
A clinical trial is a research study designed to answer a specific scientific question. Research clinical trials are conducted with cancer patients to determine if a new treatment or therapy is effective. Treatments can include surgery, radiation therapy and chemotherapy, either alone or in combination.
Some clinical trials are designed to study ways to prevent cancer. They are called prevention trials. Other studies examine the psychological impact of cancer, ways to improve patient quality of life, and ways to control symptoms or side effects. A clinical trial is often referred to as a protocol.
The cancer clinical trials available through the Helen F. Graham Center & Research Institute are sponsored by the National Cancer Institute (NCI) and other national research partners. The ChristianaCare cancer research program is a NCI Community Oncology Research Program (NCORP). As a NCORP member, the Helen F. Graham Cancer Center & Research Institute provides patients with the newest cancer therapies, including more than 100 clinical trials sponsored by the federal government and drug companies for the prevention and treatment of cancer at different stages.
We understand what you’re going through because we’ve been there. We know how overwhelming these decisions about treating your cancer can feel. The good news is that you have options. Clinical trials offer you access to new treatments that might otherwise be unavailable.
You also have us. We are your advocates. We can help ease the burden of making these decisions by sharing our knowledge and experience with clinical studies. We know that from a patient’s perspective the more information you have, the easier it will be for you and your family to make the decision that’s right for you.
To talk with one of us, call the cancer research office at 302-623-4450.