Clinical Trials and Research

Cancer Research and Clinical Trials at The Queen’s Medical Center

The Oncology Research Department at The Queen’s Medical Center improves our approach to cancer care in Hawaii by supporting cancer research. Our cancer research team includes physician researchers, nurses and scientists dedicated to implementing and carrying out clinical trials designed specifically for cancer patients.

Queen’s Cancer Center: A Member of the National Cancer Institute

Queen’s Cancer Center and the University of Hawaii Cancer Center (UHCC) are members of the National Cancer Institute (NCI) Community Oncology Research Program (NCORP). The goal of NCORP is to bring cancer clinical trials and cancer care delivery research to people in their own communities to improve patient outcomes and reduce cancer disparities.

Because of this relationship, the Oncology Research Department at Queen’s Cancer Center is able to offer research studies that are available through the NCI National Cancer Trials Network and pharmaceutical companies, and local investigators. Our team of experienced oncologists carefully select only the trials that show promise and potential benefit to our patients. Once a trial is chosen, our staff works closely with the sponsor and regulatory boards to make the study available to our patients.

To ensure further patient safety, all research studies must be approved by the Community Research Advocacy Board and the Protocol Review Monitoring Committee to ensure that the trials are scientifically sound and that the patient is being protected.

Understanding Clinical Trials for Cancer Patients

A clinical trial is a research study that aims to improve cancer care by finding better ways we can treat, diagnose, and prevent cancer. Oncology clinical trials are essential for testing the safety and effectiveness of new treatments that may benefit cancer patients.

The Four Phases of Clinical Trials for Cancer Patients

Clinical trials are classified based on the four clinical phases of development of a new drug or treatment.

Phase I: (15 – 30 people take part)

Phase I clinical trials look to find a safe dose for patients. The method of how a treatment should be given is also decided in this phase, along with looking at the effects the treatment has on the body.

Phase II: (Less than 100 people take part)

Looks to find if the treatment works to fight a certain type of cancer and continues to look at how the treatment affects the body.

Phase III: (Thousands of people take part)

Looks to see if the new treatment or the new way treatment is being used works better than that of standard care.

Phase IV: (Hundreds to thousands of people take part)

Looks at the long-term effects of the new treatment including safety and how well the new treatment works.

Types of Trials for Cancer Patients

Because every type of cancer is different, clinical trials for cancer patients are multi-faceted and may evaluate any part of the cancer journey. Some of the most common types of trials are:

  • Prevention trials: look at ways to prevent cancer
  • Screening trials: study different ways to find cancer
  • Diagnostic trials: compare new tests to the standard tests currently being used to identify cancer
  • Treatment trials: tests new treatments, drugs, or ways to combine standard treatments in a more effective manner


The Queen’s Cancer Center research nurses consistently screen patients to find those who would be eligible and may potentially benefit from participating in a clinical trial. If you are interested in taking part in a clinical trial, the study doctor and nurses will check to make sure you fit all the requirements and that the treatment on trial is right for you. Each clinical trial has a specific set of requirements for participation. You may be able to take part in a clinical trial based on the type of cancer you have, the stage of your cancer, your age, whether or not you have received treatment in the past, and many other factors.

When the team finds a patient who may be a good match, they work with the physicians to ensure the patient fully understands the research study. Once enrolled onto trial, the nurse acts as a resource for the patient, following them through their study treatment, ensuring compliance with the study protocol and good clinical practice.

Participate in a Clinical Trial at The Queen’s Medical Center

If you are interested in a clinical trial, The Queen’s Cancer Research Department can be reached at 808-691-8548. Your doctor or study nurse can also contact us, and help determine if a clinical trial is right for you. Questions to Ask