Behind every medicine that people have ever taken are thousands of patients
who have volunteered to participate in clinical trials. These clinical
trials have led to many breakthroughs in disease treatment in the last
half-century. When it comes to cancer, clinical trials can provide a unique
opportunity for patients to receive advanced research treatments previously
restricted to university cancer centers.
“Every cancer therapy we have now was once tested in a clinical trial.
Clinical trials are important to move the field of cancer treatments forward,”
explains Swati Sikaria, MD, a hematologist and oncologist with Torrance
Memorial Physician Network - Cancer Care (TMPN – Cancer Care). “For
an individual patient, a clinical trial can provide access to a new therapy
that’s potentially better than the current standard.”
TMPN - Cancer Care is leading the charge in treating cancer patients in
the South Bay by providing cutting edge, FDA-approved therapies and also
innovative clinical trials and genomic assays. These trials include some
from UCLA through the TRIO-US Clinical Trials Network, others through
pharmaceutical companies, and in 2018 in affiliation with Cedars-Sinai
Medical Center. Some are for cancer medications, others are blood tests
to develop early cancer detection methods, and others are for supportive
care measures in an effort to help patients avoid side effects of chemotherapy.
“Some people are scared of the idea of a clinical trial because it’s
an experiment so to speak. However, I have seen patients in a clinical
trial, which was experimental at the time, and they beat the odds. The
drug is now FDA-approved and on the market,” explains Dr. Sikaria.
“It’s exciting for patients who feel that they got the drug
first and have helped others benefit from a treatment that works. In other
cases, a trial may prove the new treatment is no better than what we have
TMPN – Cancer Care is an affiliate of the Hunt Cancer Institute and
the only comprehensive cancer center in the South Bay offering patients
the advantage of being treated locally.
“Cancer treatment is very time intensive. There are lots of appointments
for labs, chemotherapy and doctors follow-ups,” says Dr. Sikaria.
“If you have an emergency you may need to be seen immediately. We’re
right here affiliated with your local hospital and your local doctors
to make getting the care you need easier.”
“We also help provide a lot of patient assistance,” says Dr.
Sikaria. “For example, we search for financial assistance through
charitable organizations to help cover patient expenses. You won’t
get that kind of help at different cancer centers.”
TMPN – Cancer Care is one of a handful of national leading oncology
groups picked by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS)
to pioneer the Oncology Care Model for the nation.
All patients enrolled in these trials are treated at Torrance Memorial
Physician Network – Cancer Care’s infusion center located
in Redondo Beach.
For more information on clinical trials or to browse clinical trials that
are currently enrolling patients, visit