Clinical Trials

Did you know that we participate in cancer research studies and clinical trials that provide “cutting edge” cancer treatment options, symptom management, and prevention strategies for our patients? Our research department, under the direction of Ajeet Gajra, MD and Steven Duffy, MD, originated in 1983. Examples of recent accomplishments of our clinical trials include establishing the current standard of care for:

  • Breast Cancer
  • Colon Cancer
  • Prostate Cancer
  • Acute Myeloid Leukemia (AML)
  • Chemoprevention strategies for women identified as “high-risk” for Breast Cancer
  • Combining Chemotherapy with Radiation Therapy to increase the cure rate of Stage III Lung Cancer
  • Using Naproxen to prevent Neulasta pain
  • Using Megace to increase appetite and reverse weight loss

The most current information about clinical trials can be found at You can also contact our Research Department during regular business hours by calling (315) 472-7504, choose option 1 and enter extension 1350 when prompted, or email us at

Hematology-Oncology Associates of Central New York is dedicated to developing new and more effective ways to slow, halt, cure, and prevent cancer through clinical research. For 27 years, our practice received grant funding from the National Cancer Institute (NCI), which is a division of the National Institutes of Health (NIH).  We were among 50 practice sites in the US that received designation by the NCI as a “Community Clinical Oncology Program.”

In May of 2014, the program and funding came to completion. At that time, we became more formally involved with the Alliance for Clinical Trials in Oncology. The Alliance continues to allow us to offer our patients research opportunities utilizing state-of-the-art cancer treatments. Our patients have access to many of the same clinical trials that are typically available at large cancer treatment centers. We also participate in clinical trials sponsored by private industry and pharmaceutical companies.

Clinical trials allow us to find new and better ways to:
  • Treat many different types of cancer
  • Manage many symptoms and side effects that may occur with  cancer treatments
  • Prevent certain types of cancer
Potential Benefits of participation:
  • You may receive new, advanced, treatment only available to patients in clinical trials
  • More frequent contact with your health care team and additional attention from the staff in our Research Department
  • Taking an active role in decisions that affect your life
  • The opportunity to help others in the future by improving cancer care
  • Getting another opinion without traveling

In the past, clinical trials were sometimes seen only as a “last resort” for people who had no other options or treatment choices. However, many people with early stage cancers choose to participate in treatment and/or symptom management clinical trials! Today’s clinical trials become tomorrow’s standard of care! Ask your doctor and other members of your health care team if there is a clinical trial for you!

If you have any questions about participating in clinical trials, or if you would like more information, please contact the Research Department by calling:  315-472-7504 (x1350)

Frequently Asked Questions About Clinical Trials

What are clinical trials?

Clinical trials are research studies that involve people. Cancer clinical trials involve people who have been diagnosed with cancer, and sometimes, people who are at high risk for developing cancer.

Clinical trials are one of the final stages of a long and careful research process that often begins in a laboratory, where scientists first develop and test new ideas. If an approach seems to be working, the next step may involve animal testing. This allows us to learn if an approach is both safe and effective. Finally, clinical trials are needed to learn or confirm that a new approach is both safe and effective in humans.

Why are clinical trials important?

Cancer clinical trials allow us to find new and better ways to treat different types of cancers and blood disorders, better manage symptoms and side effects of current treatments, and prevent cancer and/or the progression of cancer. They contribute to knowledge and progress against cancer.  If a new approach proves to be effective, it may become a new standard of care. Many of today’s most effective approaches are based on what has been learned in clinical trials!

Clinical trials may directly benefit the people who participate! Clinical trial patients receive additional attention from their health care team and research staff.

Clinical trials allow us to learn which approaches work best in very diverse groups of people, based on their gender, age, race, and other defining characteristics.

What types of clinical trials are available?

Patients may be eligible to participate in clinical trials focusing on:

  • Treatment of your cancer
  • Managing symptoms that sometimes occur as a result of your cancer diagnosis
  • Managing symptoms that sometimes occur as a result of your cancer treatments
  • Prevention of cancer 

Why should I consider taking part in a clinical trial?

There are many potential advantages to participating in a clinical trial. These include:

  • The possibility of receiving new, advanced treatment or symptom management interventions only available to patients in a clinical trial
  • The opportunity to have more frequent contact with your health care team
  • The ability to take an active role in decisions that affect your life
  • The chance to help others in the future by adding to what we know about treatment, symptom management, and prevention.
  • Getting a second opinion and having access to cutting edge technologies

How long does a clinical trial last?

The length of a clinical trial varies. It depends on the type of clinical trial (treatment, symptom management or prevention) as well as the design of the research study. The length of time could be as short as a few weeks or as long as a few years. Some studies end sooner than planned if there is evidence that a certain approach is working really well!

Where can I find additional information about clinical trials?

There are many sources of information about cancer and clinical trials on the internet, but not all of them are accurate, reliable and up-to-date! 

We recommend that you visit the following web sites to if you wish to learn more about clinical trials and cancer research:

You may also obtain information by telephone from the National Cancer Institute’s (NCI) Cancer Information Service by calling: 1-800-422-6237.

Who can I contact if I have any questions about participating in clinical trials?

Please talk with your doctor at your next visit/appointment, or call the Research Department at Hematology-Oncology Associates:  315-472-7504 (x1350)