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MedStar-Georgetown Cancer Research Network

Oncology Research at MHRI

About the MedStar-Georgetown Cancer Research Network

MedStar Health is home to state-of-the-art facilities for the diagnosis and treatment of cancer. Treatment teams include world-renowned physicians supported by registered nurses, nutritionists, pharmacists and other specialists, as well as a research component that brings new treatments to the patient. MedStar Health is committed to clinical research as an essential tool to further cancer care.

MedStar Health Research Institute physicians conduct a variety of trials ranging from treatment of the actual cancer to supportive care for symptom management. Additionally, biosocial and observational trials that study patterns of care may be offered. Cancer clinical trials offered intend to treat both early (before and/or after surgery) and advanced (if the tumor has recurred or spread) disease. Research trials use, and sometimes combine a variety of different treatments, including surgery, chemotherapy, hormonal therapy, and/or radiation therapy.

Cancer research trials are conducted every day throughout the MedStar Health hospital system for a variety of cancer types.

Brain Cancer

Primary brain cancer develops when a malignant (cancerous) tumor forms from cells in the tissue of the central nervous system [CNS], which is comprised of the brain and the spinal cord. Brain tumors can be either malignant or benign (non-cancerous).

Unlike most types of cancers, primary brain cancer does not typically spread to other areas of the body. However, brain cancer can spread to other parts of the brain and/or spinal cord. Treatment for brain cancer depends on a variety of factors, including the type of tumor and where the tumor is located.

Breast Cancer

Breast cancer develops when a malignant (cancerous) tumor forms from cells of the breast. Breast cancer can begin in the duct (milk passage) or lobules (milk-producing glands). It is the most common (non-skin) cancer among American women, and while men can develop breast cancer, it is very rare.

Treatment for breast cancer is determined by a variety of factors, including the type of cancer, stage of diagnosis, and hormone receptor status to name a few. Treatment options include local and/or systemic therapies. Local therapy refers to treatment targeting the specific tumor site without affecting the rest of the body (e.g. surgery, radiation therapy). Systemic therapy intends to treat cancer cells throughout the entire body (e.g. chemotherapy, hormone therapy). People with cancer often get more than one kind of treatment.

Digestive/Gastrointestinal Cancer

Gastrointestinal (GI) cancers develop when a malignant (cancerous) tumor forms from the cells in the gastrointestinal (digestive) tract. Prognosis (outcome) and treatment are dependent on a variety of factors, including the type of GI cancer and stage at diagnosis. Treatment options include local and/or systemic therapies. Local therapy refers to treatment targeting the specific tumor site without affecting the rest of the body (e.g. surgery, radiation therapy). Systemic therapy intends to treat cancer cells throughout the entire body (e.g. chemotherapy).

GI cancers include:

  • Anal Cancer
  • Appendix Cancer
  • Colon and Rectal Cancer
  • Esophageal Cancer (see Thoracic)
  • Gallbladder and Bile Duct Cancer
  • Liver Cancer
  • Pancreatic (Exocrine) Cancer
  • Stomach (Gastric) Cancer

Endocrine/Thyroid Cancer

Thyroid cancer develops when a malignant (cancerous) tumor forms in the thyroid gland (located in the front part of the neck). The majority of thyroid tumors or nodules are benign (non-cancerous), while a small percentage is malignant.

Treatment for thyroid cancer is determined by a variety of factors including type of cancer, stage at diagnosis and size of the tumor. Treatment options include local and/or systemic therapies. Local therapy refers to treatment targeting the specific tumor site without affecting the rest of the body (e.g. surgery, radiation therapy). Systemic therapy intends to treat cancer cells throughout the entire body (e.g. radioactive iodine therapy [I-131], hormone therapy, chemotherapy).

Genitourinary Cancer

Genitourinary (GU) cancers develop when a malignant (cancerous) tumor forms from the cells in an area of the genitourinary system, which includes the urinary tract and male genital tract. Prognosis (outcomes) and treatment are dependent on a variety of factors, including the type of GU cancer and stage at diagnosis. Treatment options can include local and/or systemic therapies. Local therapy refers to treatment targeting the specific tumor site without affecting the rest of the body (e.g. surgery, radiation therapy). Systemic therapy intends to treat cancer cells throughout the entire body (e.g. chemotherapy).

GU cancers include:

  • Bladder Cancer
  • Kidney Cancer
  • Penile Cancer
  • Prostate Cancer
  • Testicular Cancer
  • Urethral Cancer

Gynecological Cancer

Gynecological (GYN) cancers develop when a malignant (cancerous) tumor forms from the cells in a female reproductive organ. Prognosis (outcome) and treatment are dependent on a variety of factors, including the type of GYN cancer and stage at diagnosis. Treatment options include local and/or systemic therapies. Local therapy refers to treatment targeting the specific tumor site without affecting the rest of the body (e.g. surgery, radiation therapy). Systemic therapy intends to treat cancer cells throughout the entire body (e.g. chemotherapy). People with cancer often get more than one kind of treatment.

GYN cancers include:

  • Cervical Cancer
  • Ovarian Cancer
  • Uterine or Endometrial Cancer
  • Vaginal Cancer
  • Vulvar Cancer

Head and Neck Cancer

Head and neck cancers develop when a malignant (cancerous) tumor forms from the cells in the head or neck region, not including thyroid or skin cancers. Prognosis (outcome) and treatment are dependent on a variety of factors, including the type of head and neck cancer and the stage at diagnosis. Treatment options can include local and/or systemic therapies. Local therapy refers to treatment specifically targeting the tumor site without affecting the rest of the body (e.g. surgery, radiation therapy). Systemic therapy intends to treat cancer cells throughout the entire body (e.g. chemotherapy). People with cancer often get more than one kind of treatment.

Head and Neck Cancers Include:

  • Oral Cavity Cancer
  • Base of Tongue cancer
  • Larynx Cancer
  • Oropharynx Cancer
  • Hypopharynx Cancer
  • Nasopharynx Cancer
  • Nasal Cavity or Paranasal Sinuses Cancer
  • Salivary Gland Cancer

Hematologic Cancer

Hematologic and blood-related cancers develop when cells in the blood or bone marrow become malignant (cancerous). Since these cancers involve abnormalities in levels of blood cells and platelets, a variety of blood tests and a bone marrow biopsy are often done to diagnose hematologic malignancies. Treatment for hematologic cancer is determined by a variety of factors, including the specific type of cancer and the stage and extent of disease present. Treatment options usually involve various regimens of systemic treatment, including chemotherapy. Systemic therapy intends to treat cancer cells throughout the entire body.

Hematologic cancers include:

  • Leukemia
  • Lymphoma
  • Myeloma
  • Myelodysplastic Syndromes [MDS]

Melanoma Cancer

Melanoma is a disease in which malignant (cancerous) cells form in a type of skin cell called melanocytes. Melanoma of the skin is less common than other types of skin cancers, such as basal cell skin cancer and squamous cell skin cancer. However, melanoma is harder to treat when not caught early because it is more likely to spread to other parts of the body.

Treatment options are dependent on a variety of factors and can include local and/or systemic therapies. Local therapy refers to treatment targeting the specific tumor site without affecting the rest of the body (e.g. surgery, radiation therapy). Systemic therapy intends to treat cancer cells throughout the entire body (e.g. chemotherapy).

Sarcoma Cancer

Sarcoma cancer develops when a malignant (cancerous) tumor forms from cells of the soft tissue (e.g. fat, muscle or joint tissue) or bone. Sarcomas are rare cancers, and while they can affect people of all ages, certain subtypes are more common in children than adults.

Prognosis (outcome) and treatment for sarcoma cancers is determined by a variety of factors, including the subtype of sarcoma, the location of the tumor in the body, and the size of the tumor to name a few. Treatment options can include local and/or systemic therapies. Local therapy refers to treatment targeting the specific tumor site without affecting the rest of the body (e.g. surgery, radiation therapy). Systemic therapy intends to treat cancer cells throughout the entire body (e.g. chemotherapy). People with cancer often get more than one kind of treatment.

Thoracic Cancer

Thoracic cancer develops when a malignant (cancerous) tumor forms from cells of the esophagus or lungs. Prognosis (outcome) and treatment for thoracic cancers is determined by a variety of factors, including the specific type of cancer, the location of the tumor in the body, and the size of the tumor to name a few. Treatment options can include local and/or systemic therapies. Local therapy refers to treatment targeting the specific tumor site without affecting the rest of the body (e.g. surgery, radiation therapy). Systemic therapy intends to treat cancer cells throughout the entire body (e.g. chemotherapy). People with cancer often get more than one kind of treatment.

 

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