CentraState gains approval to give NCI clinical trials

FREEHOLD TOWNSHIP — Cen-traState Medical Center has been approved as a National Cancer Insti-tute (NCI) clinical trial site.

CentraState is the third New Jersey site approved to participate in NCI clinical trails and one of only 60 NCI-approved sites throughout the United States. The hospital already is a clinical research site for the Cancer Institute of New Jersey (CINJ).

“We now have access to 40 to 50 cancer clinical trials that weren’t available to us before,” said Janice Breen, assistant vice president, Quality and Research. “As a community hospital, we’re proud to be able to participate directly in the advancement of cancer care through affiliations such as CINJ and now NCI.”

According to a press release from CentraState, clinical trials are research studies that test how well new medical approaches work in the screening, prevention, diagnosis or treatment of a disease.

All of today’s recognized cancer treatments were proved by clinical trials before they became generally available.

CentraState will participate in so-called Phase III research, which compares a new treatment with the best existing treatment for a particular type of cancer. Participating patients re-ceive one treatment or the other.

Phase III trials are usually the last stage before a product or methodology is submitted to the Federal Drug Administration for approval.

Phase I trials help researchers determine the best way to give a new treatment, the most appropriate dosage and whether the treatment has potentially harmful side effects.

Phase II trials evaluate whether the new treatment has a positive effect against a particular type of cancer. Generally, if at least 20 percent of the participants respond favorably to the treatment, it moves to Phase III.