LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) - New weapons in the arsenal to fight cancer: three clinical trials are now open in Lake Charles for some patients with lung, colon, or breast cancer.
Traditional cancer treatments involve surgery, chemotherapy, radiation therapy, or a combination approach.
That would be considered the "standard of care," and CHRISTUS St. Patrick Hospital medical oncologist, Dr. Wendy Dean-Colomb, says that is still the foundation for treatment, but clinical trials can also be a wonderful tool.
"It offers patients the opportunity to not only get standard of care, which is the basic, proven treatments options, but the option of getting other treatment that really may advance the care of cancer patients," she said.
Dr. Dean-Colomb and her cancer-fighting team are thrilled to be able to offer three clinical trials.
The first: a screening for lung cancer patients that maps out their genetic profile.
"This will allow us to see if there are certain genes that are promoting the growth of their cancer," said Dr. Dean-Colomb. "Depending upon that information, we have two treatment clinical trials that they could qualify for based on their genetic profile."
That is targeted treatment for the specific mutation and Dr. Dean-Colomb says even if a patient does not qualify for the next stage, their DNA map could help narrow down the best lung cancer treatment.
Next: a clinical trial for colon cancer patients who have failed treatment with the drug, Avastin.
"This one really will allow us to see patients who have gone through all the previous treatment options for the colon cancer to see if a new drug can actually make a difference," said Dr. Dean-Colomb.
The third trial is for women with triple negative breast cancer, the most aggressive form.
"For this particular clinical trial, patients have to have had their surgeries already, which means they must have had their lumpectomy or their mastectomy and then after that, they will get their chemotherapy," said Dr. Dean-Colomb.
The breast cancer clinical trial will work to determine the best chemotherapy for this group of patients.
Each clinical trial will either connect the patient with a genetic profile or access to trial medication.
All three clinical trials are open through CHRISTUS St. Patrick Hospital, cost nothing to the patient, and are actively enrolling.
To connect with the clinical trials or learn more about qualifications to participate, call CHRISTUS St. Patrick Hospital clinical trial nurse, Laura Smith, at 337-430-3386.
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