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Clinical Trials

A clinical trial is a research study conducted with cancer patients, usually to evaluate a new treatment. Each study is designed to answer scientific questions and to find new and better ways to help cancer patients.

Cancer treatments start with basic research in animal studies. Before a new treatment is tried with patients, it is carefully studied in the laboratory. The best results of animal and laboratory research are tried in patient studies.

The patients in a clinical trial are among the first to receive new research treatments before they are widely available. Standard treatments although effective in many patients, do not carry sure benefits for everyone. Patients should choose if they want to take part in a study or not, only after they understand both the possible risks and benefits.


The Montana Cancer Consortium (MCC) is an independent nonprofit organization whose mission is to bring state-of-the-art cancer care to Montana, Idaho and Wyoming through National Cancer Institute (NCI) sponsored clinical research.

Montana Cancer Consortium inception in 1995 was prompted by a need in this vast rural area to unify medical and radiation oncologists to cooperate in bringing state-of-the-art cancer treatment to a population with little access to clinical trials. While individual physician groups were working through various mechanisms to accrue to NCI-sponsored clinical trials, there was no direct, unified effort to make a number of clinical trials available to the majority of this rural population. MCC establishes the unique opportunity for clinical trial participation for all of the service area’s cancer care specialists.

MCC has more than 100 ongoing clinical trials. MCC members include board certified cancer care specialists in the states of Montana, Idaho and Wyoming.  MCC physicians have accrued more than 4000 patients to NCI sponsored clinical trials.  MCC receives funding through the National Cancer Institute (NCI) Community Oncology Research Program (NCORP) grant mechanism.

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