Research and Clinical Trials

Also known as: Clinical Trials

Clinical trials help determine the future of medicine, and Providence is dedicated to bringing that future into reality. We combine the talents and skills of world-class physicians and a highly-trained research staff to make our hospitals top research centers across the western United States.

Find a Clinical Trial

Are you looking for a clinical trial for yourself or a patient? We'd love to help you find one!

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Clinical trials are research studies designed to answer specific questions about the effectiveness and safety of new products or new ways to prevent or treat diseases. They are founded on a close collaboration between the medical/research staff and the volunteers, both patients and healthy members of the community, who make up the core of a research trial. Through clinical trials, doctors find new ways to improve treatments and the quality of life for people. Learn more about clinical trials

Researchers design cancer clinical trials to test new ways to:

  • Treat cancer
  • Find and diagnose cancer
  • Prevent cancer
  • Manage symptoms of cancer and side effects from its treatment

We monitor all clinical research at our locations to make sure that the work follows good clinical practice guidelines, federal, and local laws, that the research is done properly, and the patient is protected at all times.

Clinical trials are experiments, so they may have risks as well as benefits. Risks depend on the treatment being studied and the health of people who participate.

Benefits: Patients in clinical trials may receive treatments not yet available to everyone. But there is no guarantee that clinical trial treatments will help or improve your medical condition. Taking part in the search for new and better cancer treatments can be personally satisfying. You will be helping others.

Risks: Clinical trial treatments can cause side effects and other health risks. The risks depend on the type of treatment and your health. You always make the final decision about taking part, and not until after you understand all the potential risks and benefits. You have the right to stop participating in a clinical trial at any time and for any reason.

Patient participants are essential to clinical trials. Ask your doctor if a clinical trial is right for you. Each clinical trial accepts patients with a specific type and stage of cancer. In general, you must meet these conditions:

  • Doctors have diagnosed and checked the stage of your cancer.
  • A doctor has reviewed your general health, and your health meets study requirements.
  • We have answered all your questions about the clinical trial.
  • You understand the possible benefits and risks of participating in a clinical trial.
  • You have signed and submitted your informed consent form.

Before you decide to take part, doctors and clinical trial coordinators tell you all the known risks. The medical team closely watches the health of every patient who participates.

Federal law prohibits paying for participation in a clinical trial in most situations. Occasionally a sponsor will offer a travel stipend for a study visit. If there are any direct monetary benefits to you, your Research Coordinator will explain them to you during the consenting process

Participants often have access to medical treatments, devices, or drugs that they might not otherwise be able to have or afford. Participants receive extra follow-up in addition to their standard care. And participants become part of the advancement of medicine. The gift of their input and responses has a sizable effect in how medicines are formulated, procedures are written, and devices are developed. You make a difference.

There will usually not be a financial cost. The sponsoring companies want to make participation as easy on you as possible. But there will be a commitment of time and some energy on your part. You will probably be expected to come into the research center at regular intervals, there may be blood or tissue samples taken. It all depends on what the study is looking for. If there are actual charges, those would vary depending on the study. Your research coordinator will lay all this out for you before you make the decision whether or not to participate.

It depends on the study. If we're just doing measurements, there might be no real risk at all. Other studies, involving investigational drugs or devices, might have an increased amount of risk. It all depends on the study and the circumstances around it. The chance of risk would be fully explained to you in the consent process, and then it would be up to you whether or not you consider the risk acceptable.

No. Your participation in a clinical trial is completely voluntary. You join a study voluntarily and you can leave it at any time voluntarily, usually just by withdrawing your consent. What you usually cannot do, however, is leave a study and then rejoin it. For the vast majority of all studies, if you withdraw consent, you’re out of that particular study for good.

We list the trials we’re recruiting for on If you see a trial there that interests you, send us a message with your contact information and which trial you’re thinking of. We’ll get back to you. Every clinical trial has inclusion and exclusion restrictions – certain conditions that they require to be present, and conditions that cannot be present – before you can get on the trial. There is no guarantee you’ll be able to get into the trial you want.

Before anyone can take part in a clinical research study, they have to go through a consenting process that outlines what the research is and what will be expected of the participant. This is federally mandated, with some specific requirements, all with an eye towards protecting you. During the consent process, you would be asked a series of questions to make sure you fit the trial in question. All aspects of the trial would be covered, and you would be given opportunities to ask any questions you have. If you agree to join, you’ll get a copy of the consent form for your very own.