Learn about Phase I Clinical Trials
What is a Phase I clinical trial?
Phase I clinical trials are the earliest phase of study treatment in people and may involve agents not yet available commercially or drugs already FDA-approved but given in a new way or in new combinations. Early-phase trials determine the appropriate dose of the treatment that can be given safely and provide early information on the effectiveness of the treatment. Starting at doses far lower than those found to be safe in animals, the doses are slowly increased while safety is vigilantly monitored. Once the proper dosage is determined, the study will enroll more patients at that dose to determine how effective the treatment is at reducing the cancer.
Phase I clinical trials are the earliest phase of a study treatment in people and may involve agents not yet available commercially or drugs already FDA-approved but given in a new way or in new combinations.
Phase I clinical trials are often only for patients with advanced cancers that have spread throughout the body. Historically, Phase I trials have only enrolled people who have exhausted all known standard treatments for their disease. With the development of better tolerated targeted biological therapy, people may be eligible for any phase of a study at any point in their treatment.
The truly investigational portions of the treatment are paid for by the study funding and conducted at the UC Davis Comprehensive Cancer Center. However, certain tests, procedures or drugs given during the study period considered routine care will be billed to your insurance provider. Some insurance providers will require that these routine care items be handled by or through your referring oncologist, assuming your oncologist is not the study physician investigator.
You do not have to change your cancer doctor to enroll into a clinical trial at UC Davis. However, all study-related treatment must be given at the UC Davis Comprehensive Cancer Center. In many cases, care must be coordinated between UC Davis and your referring oncologist's office throughout the study period due to insurance requirements. All your care will resume with your referring oncologist once the study treatment is completed.
During a scheduled appointment in the Phase I clinic, the oncologist will explain the clinical trial that you might be eligible for and inform you of possible risks, beneﬁts, the treatment, and your rights in regard to clinical research participation. After a thorough explanation, you will be asked if you consent to participate in the study and, if so, to sign a consent form. You will likely meet the study coordinator responsible for the study at that time. From there, the study coordinator will arrange for screening procedures such as tests and scans to conﬁrm your eligibility. Only then can you be enrolled on the clinical trial. At that point, an authorization coordinator will assist the study coordinator in developing a treatment plan calendar detailing where the tests or procedures will be performed.
Who do I contact for more information?
Please call our Phase I clinical trial program manager with any questions at 916-703-5558.
You may also download our helpful cancer clinical trials patient information booklet.