Clinical trials have advanced medical care for many diseases and illnesses, none more so than cancer. At NYU Langone’s Perlmutter Cancer Center, there are more than 240 clinical trials for a wide-ranging array of cancers, including breast, pancreatic, liver, bladder, lung, skin, and prostate, just to name a few.
Hospitals throughout Long Island and the New York City metropolitan region have increased their emphasis on clinical trial research, working to ensure that all patients have access to these potentially beneficial therapies, especially minority patients who are too often excluded from these studies because of lack of access to care.
“Triple-negative breast cancer and colon cancer are more common among African Americans,” Benjamin G. Neel, MD, PhD, director of Perlmutter Cancer Center, tells Newsday. “We are not sure why exactly, such as whether it is environmental or genetic. This is why it is so important to enroll more African Americans in trials. By learning more about the make-up of their cancer, we can target treatments more effectively.”
Ann Capobianco of Port Jefferson was referred by Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center to participate in a clinical trial at Perlmutter Cancer Center at NYU Winthrop Hospital for breast cancer. She completed the trial and is currently cancer-free. “It wasn’t always easy,” she says. “There were some side effects. But I truly believe I am alive today because of the clinical trial.”
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