Research & Clinical Trials

Decades of extensive breast cancer clinical research has developed effective and safe treatment plans for many types of breast cancer. But there are always new treatments to test and opportunities to use existing therapies in different ways for better outcomes. This means that while we have some really great breast cancer treatments available today, new and improved options are being studied

Minnesota Oncology feels it’s important to offer as many treatment options as possible for patients in the Twin Cities area. That’s why we have partnered with the US Oncology Research Network, Metro-Minnesota Community Clinical Oncology Program (MMCORC), and others to offer various breast cancer research trials to our patients. 

While trials are not right for every patient, some will have the opportunity to participate, opening doors to new breast cancer treatment options right here in the Twin Cities area and across the country.

What Types of Clinical Trials for Breast Cancer are Available at Minnesota Oncology?

There are several different types of research trials for breast cancer, each one with a different goal. Some may be testing a new treatment not available to patients without participating in a trial. Other trials evaluate different combinations of treatments for various types of breast cancer. 

One type of breast cancer in particular, called triple-negative breast cancer, has been one of the more difficult types to treat and is being studied extensively. 

Advancing Treatment Options for Triple-Negative Breast Cancer

The breast cancer treatment recommended for each patient is based on hormone receptors that are, or are not, present. There are some tests that the breast cancer specialist will run to find out if you are one of the following: 

  • Estrogen-positive
  • Progesterone-positive
  • HER2-positive
  • Triple Negative 

There are several well-established treatment protocols for the first three types of hormone receptor-positive breast cancer. Unfortunately there are not as many established treatment plans for the faster growing triple-negative breast cancer. Because of this, it’s especially the focus of breast cancer research at this time with several trials underway to find more effective treatment options for triple-negative breast cancer patients.

Recently a new immunotherapy was approved by the FDA for triple-negative breast cancer after completing clinical trials. This is encouraging and gives patients new hope for full recovery! 

If available to you, participation in a clinical trial for triple-negative breast cancer could help you personally and help researchers better understand how to treat other patents like you. 

Should You Participate in a Clinical Trial for Breast Cancer?

Patients at Minnesota Oncology are encouraged to talk with their oncologist about whether a clinical trial is a treatment option available to you. There are research trials available for triple-negative breast cancer as well as breast cancers with varying stages and hormone-status. 

There are certain requirements for each trial that define who can participate. If you qualify, you can meet with one of the clinical research nurses who will give you more details about the trial and the requirements for participating. 

All new breast cancer treatments under investigation are proven safe for use in humans. Participants are carefully monitored for side effects by our cancer research team at an office conveniently located in the Minneapolis-St. Paul area. If the treatment in the trial doesn’t appear to be producing results, your oncology team will attempt to find a different option that has the potential to be more effective for you.

Participation in a clinical trial is always optional and you will only be enrolled when you sign the required documents. We hope that patients who qualify will consider participating to not only provide a new treatment option for themselves, but potentially for other breast cancer patients like yourself around the world.