Cancer Clinical Trials in Paradise, California

Innovative cancer treatments for eligible patients

A clinical trial is one of the final stages in a careful research process to identify safe and effective new methods of cancer prevention, detection or treatment. Adventist Health Feather River cancer center clinical trials program provides patients access trials through an affiliation with Stanford Medical Center and the cancer trials support unit of the National Cancer Institute (NCI) National Clinical Trials Network.

Fighting cancer is complicated, but we are making it easier by providing local access to these trials. This means patients are usually able to stay in our community while accessing the most promising treatments available.

Current clinical trials

For more information about our clinical trials program, please call the cancer center at (530) 876-7995 ext. 4506 or send an email to Mary Jo Lopez at

Click here for a list of current clinical trials.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q. What is a clinical trial?
A. Clinical trials are research studies in which people help doctors find ways to improve health and cancer care. Each study tries to answer scientific questions and to find better ways to prevent, diagnose or treat cancer.

Q. Why are clinical trials conducted?
A. A clinical trial is one of the final stages of a long and careful cancer research process. Studies are performed with cancer patients to find out whether promising approaches to cancer prevention, diagnosis and treatment are safe and effective. Clinical trials often become the latest treatment protocols.

Q. What are the different types of clinical trials?
A. There are several types of clinical trials:

  • Prevention trials test new approaches — such as medications, vitamins, or other supplements — that doctors believe may lower the risk of developing a certain type of cancer.
  • Screening trials study ways to detect cancer earlier. They are often conducted to determine if finding cancer before it causes symptoms decreases the chance of dying from the disease. These trials involve people who do not have any symptoms of cancer.
  • Treatment trials are conducted with people who have cancer. They are designed to answer specific questions about and evaluate the effectiveness of a new treatment or a new way of using a standard treatment. These trials test many types of treatments, such as new drugs, vaccines, new approaches to surgery or radiation therapy, or new combinations of treatments.
  • Quality-of-life (also called supportive care or palliative care) trials explore ways to improve the comfort and quality of life of cancer patients and cancer survivors. These trials may study ways to help people who are experiencing nausea, vomiting, sleep disorders, depression or other effects from cancer or its treatment.

Q. How are clinical trials conducted?
A. Clinical trials are usually conducted in a series of steps, called phases:

  • Phase I trials are the first step in testing a new approach in people. In these studies, researchers evaluate what dose is safe and how and how often a new agent should be given. Researchers watch closely for any harmful side effects. Only a small number of patients participate in the Phase I trial of a drug.
  • Phase II trials study the safety and effectiveness of an agent or intervention and evaluate how it affects the human body. Phase II studies usually focus on a particular type of cancer and include fewer than 100 patients.
  • Phase III trials compare a new agent or intervention (or new use of a standard one) with the current standard therapy. It is the final stage of the long research process and the last step before a new drug or procedure becomes a standard of care. Patients are randomly assigned to the standard group or the new group, usually by computer. This method, called randomization, helps to avoid bias and ensures that human choices or other factors do not affect the study’s results. In most cases, studies move to Phase III testing only after they have shown promise in Phase I and Phase II. Phase III trials often include large numbers of people across the country.

Q. How are participants protected?
A. Research with people is conducted according to strict scientific and ethical principles. Every clinical trial has a protocol, or action plan, which acts as a recipe for conducting the trial. The plan describes what will be done in the study, how it will be conducted and why each part of the study is necessary. The same protocol is used by every doctor or research center taking part in the trial.

All clinical trials at Adventist Health Feather River Cancer Center must be reviewed and approved by the Institutional Review Board (IRB). The IRB is charged with protecting the rights and welfare of people involved in research. Each protocol is reviewed by the IRB to make sure the study is conducted fairly and participants are not likely to be harmed.

Q. What are eligibility criteria, and why are they important?
A. Each study’s protocol has guidelines for who can or cannot participate in the study. These guidelines, called eligibility criteria, describe characteristics that must be shared by all participants. The criteria differ from study to study. They may include age, gender, medical history and current health status. Eligibility criteria for treatment studies often require that patients have a particular type and stage of cancer.

Enrolling participants with similar characteristics helps to ensure the results of the trial will be due to what is under study and not other factors. In this way, eligibility criteria help researchers achieve accurate and meaningful results. These criteria also minimize the risk of a person’s condition becoming worse by participating in the study.

Q. What is informed consent?
A. Informed consent is a process through which people learn the important facts about a clinical trial to help them decide whether or not to participate. This information includes details about what is involved, such as the purpose of the study, the tests and other procedures used in the study, and its possible risks and benefits. In addition to talking with their doctor or nurse, patients receive a written consent form explaining the study. Patients who agree to take part in the study are asked to sign the informed consent form. However, signing the form does not mean patients must stay in the study. People can leave the study at any time either before the study starts or at any time during the study or the follow-up period.

Q. What are some of the benefits of taking part in a clinical trial?
A. The benefits of participating in a clinical trial include:

  • Participants have access to promising new approaches often not available outside the clinical trial setting
  • The approach being studied may be more effective than the standard approach
  • Participants receive regular and careful medical attention from a research team that includes doctors and other health professionals
  • Participants may be the first to benefit from the new method under study
  • Results from the study may help others in the future

Q. What are some of the possible risks associated with taking part in a clinical trial?
A. The possible risks of participating in a clinical trial include:

  • New drugs or procedures under study are not always better than the standard care to which they are being compared
  • New treatments may have side effects or risks doctors do not expect or are worse than those resulting from standard care
  • Participants in randomized trials will not be able to choose the approach they receive
  • Health insurance and managed care providers may not cover all patient care costs in a study
  • Participants may be required to make more visits to the doctor than they would if they were not in the clinical trial

Q. Where can I get more information?
A. Please call the Adventist Health Feather River cancer center at (530) 876-3141.

The links below are also excellent sources of information:

Contact us about our clinical trials

Adventist Health Feather River
5629 Canyon View Drive
Paradise, CA 95969
(530) 876-7995 ext. 4506