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Cancer clinical trials

Cancer clinical trials are researcher-led efforts to discover new, more-effective methods to treat your cancer. These trials may involve innovative medicines, traditional procedures and process improvements.

Clinical cancer trials in San Antonio

Clinical trials provide you with the best treatments currently available, as well as new and possibly more effective therapies. They can be life-saving to those with cancer.

The Methodist Healthcare Cancer Network is one of the leading cancer research programs in Texas. This network specializes in using extensive research trial and studies to help bring a variety of potential treatment options to those who may not have had access to or success with previous treatments.

For more information about our cancer clinical trials, please call askSARAH at (210) 507-0941.

How do clinical trials work

Studies are broken down into different phases, each focusing on certain things.

  • Phase 1 investigates safety, side effects and the best dose of study drugs.
  • Phase 2 determines the effectiveness and safety.
  • Phase 3 looks at effectiveness, side effects and safety compared with other treatments.
  • Phase 4 gathers more information after the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approves the drug, and it is on the market.

Each cancer trial has a written detailed study design called a protocol. A protocol includes why the trial is needed, the purpose of the trial, what drug or drugs are being tested and who can join the study. It also includes:

  • How outcomes will be measured
  • Safety measures
  • What information will be gathered about you

Standard treatment

Standard treatment is a treatment experts agree is appropriate, accepted and widely used. As with any treatment, it will have side effects. For example, the standard treatment for some blood cancers may only be somewhat effective, in these instances, you may want to consider a clinical trial.


Randomization enables doctors to compare new treatments with standard treatments. Patients are divided into different groups at random. The control group receives the best standard treatment available and the treatment group receives the treatment under study. Sometimes a placebo may be used, but this happens rarely in cancer studies.


A placebo is designed to look like the medicine being tested, but it is not active. A study may compare standard treatment plus a new treatment to standard treatment plus a placebo. You are told if the study uses a placebo, but you will not know if you are getting the placebo, nor will your study team. This is called “blinding,” which allows the research team to look at your side effects without bias.

Types of clinical trials we offer

Your eligibility depends on several criteria, including your age and sex, your cancer type and stage, previous treatments and your overall medical history. If you’re interested in participating in a clinical trial, view the list of open San Antonio trials below and talk to your doctor to determine which one may be right for you.

Current trials at The Sarah Cannon Pediatric Transplant and Cellular Therapy Program at Methodist Children’s Hospital

Current trials at The Sarah Cannon Transplant and Cellular Therapy Program at Methodist Hospital

About Sarah Cannon Cancer Institute

As part of Sarah Cannon, the Cancer Institute of HCA Healthcare, our family of hospitals provides comprehensive cancer services with convenient access to cutting-edge therapies for people facing cancer in our communities. From diagnosis to treatment and survivorship care, our oncology expertise ensures you have access to locally trusted care with the support of a globally recognized network.

askSARAH helpline

Have cancer questions? We can help. askSARAH is a dedicated helpline for your cancer-related questions. Our specially trained nurses are available 24/7, and all calls are confidential. Contact askSARAH at (210) 507-0941.

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