At the Lahey Health Cancer Institute (LHCI), an important goal is to develop an in-depth understanding of your unique cancer. This is accomplished through cancer research and cancer clinical trials.
A deeper understanding of how cancer forms and grows has led to more targeted treatment options that have a greater chance of successfully treating a cancer, often with less side effects than seen with conventional chemotherapy.
Uncovering the Clues
Cancer research helps uncover clues about how cancer grows and the best way to treat it. At Lahey Health, our researchers conduct dozens of clinical trials each year, including many cancer clinical trials evaluating new approaches to cancer treatment.
About Cancer Clinical Trials
Cancer clinical trials help doctors discover better ways to treat people with many different types of cancer, as well as ways to help diagnose cancer and manage symptoms associated with cancer treatment. People who participate in clinical trials often have access to new cancer treatments before they are available to the general public.
Clinical trials are conducted for all stages of cancer, not just advanced cancer. At Lahey Health, participating in a clinical trial is your choice. You will never be enrolled in a clinical trial without your consent.
Even if a certain clinical trial isn’t being conducted at Lahey Health but is the best option for an individual patient, through our established relationships with other hospitals, we can refer patients to other institutions for enrollment in an appropriate clinical study. Our goal is to always ensure that each one of our patients has access to the best treatment options for their specific cancer.
Among the clinical trials at Lahey is the GRAIL research project, a study that aims to develop a blood-based DNA assay to identify and screen for the 14 most frequent cancers. Individual who have had a recent cancer diagnosis but who have not yet started therapy are invited to enroll.
Commitment to Safety
When you participate in a cancer clinical trial, you can be assured that your safety is our primary concern. Our clinical staff has extensive experience in conducting clinical trials, and we are deeply committed to protecting the rights and welfare of our patients.
All research activity at Lahey Health is monitored by each hospital’s Institutional Review Board (IRB) to ensure the safety of study participants. The IRBs are composed of Lahey Health colleagues and members of the general public from our communities as well.
If you are interested in participating in a cancer clinical trial, speak with your doctor or patient navigator.
Lahey Health is a member of both SWOG and NRG, two worldwide networks of researchers, supported by the National Cancer Institute, who design and conduct cancer clinical trials. SWOG and NRG trials test new ways to diagnose, treat, and prevent cancer, as well as ways to improve the care that cancer patients receive and improve quality of life for both patients under active treatment and cancer survivors.
Translational Research at Lahey Health
Lahey Health is committed to translational research, which involves bringing insights from the basic science laboratory to the clinic and importantly observations from the clinic back to the laboratory. As part of this commitment we have created a library of biologic samples (tissue, blood, urine, sputum) that our patients give us permission to use. These samples are examined to look for biomarkers to help researchers be more precise in their diagnoses as well as discover more effective treatment strategies.
Lahey Health today has the largest tissue bank in the region for patients with early stage lung cancer and genitourinary cancer, with a remarkable reservoir of biologic samples.