Colorectal Cancer Clinical Trials

Henry Ford Health participates in colorectal cancer clinical trials to investigate new tests and treatments for colon, rectal and anal cancer. When you choose us for your care, you may have access to breakthrough therapies and procedures not widely available. We are the only program in Michigan to offer National Cancer Institute-supported phase I trials, the earliest phase of studies.

Search current clinical trials at Henry Ford.

Pioneering colorectal care in Michigan and beyond

Our clinical trials have studied:

  • Surgery: A new surgical technique to reduce the need for a colostomy bag and repeat surgery after colorectal cancer surgery
  • Medications: More effective combinations of immunotherapies, targeted therapies and chemotherapies for advanced colorectal cancer
  • Diagnostic techniques: An early detection blood test that screens for more than 50 types of cancer

New hope for people with advanced colorectal cancer

Advanced colorectal cancer means cancer spread from your colon or rectum to other areas of your body or returned after treatment. People with advanced cancer aren’t usually candidates for surgery, radiation therapy  or standard chemotherapy.

However, promising research on cancer-fighting drugs called targeted therapies and immunotherapies  is bringing new hope to people with metastatic colorectal cancer. At Henry Ford, we’re actively investigating new combinations of these drugs, some with chemotherapy, to ease symptoms and help people live longer and feel better.

Expanding access to colon and rectal cancer clinical trials for minorities

Colorectal cancer disproportionately affects certain minority groups, including Blacks, American Indians and Alaska Natives. Black men and women are about 20 percent more likely than other groups to get colorectal cancer and 40 percent more likely to die from it. Yet the people with the highest risk and the poorest outcomes are underrepresented in clinical trials that could offer them promising new treatments.

Henry Ford is committed to improving the representation of minority groups in clinical studies. We’ve partnered with community organizations in Detroit to increase awareness of and access to trials for colorectal, breast, lung and prostate cancers.

Take the next step

Contact the colorectal cancer care team 24/7 by calling (888) 777-4167 or request an appointment online.

Frequently asked questions about clinical trials

Your care team will let you know if you’re a candidate for any active rectal or colon cancer clinical trials. They answer your questions and help you understand what to expect.

Common questions about clinical trials include:

When should I seek a colorectal cancer clinical trial?

Many people think they should only seek a clinical trial if they’re out of other treatment options. However, we encourage you to seek trials at any point in your treatment or for any stage of colorectal cancer.

Do I have to pay to participate in a clinical trial?

Clinical trials have sponsors, such as research organizations, that pay for the trial. Your health insurance plan may also cover some expenses. Participants typically don’t have to pay out-of-pocket costs to be in a trial.

Will I get a placebo during the trial?

A placebo is a substance that looks like a drug or treatment but has no therapeutic effect. Most cancer clinical trials do not use placebos, so it’s highly unlikely you will get a placebo. If the trial does use a placebo, you’ll be notified of this before the trial begins.

Some cancer trials compare standard treatments to new treatments. In these cases, you may receive the standard treatment rather than the new treatment.

Where is the clinical trial offered?

We offer clinical trials at our main hospital in downtown Detroit and our other hospitals throughout southeast Michigan. If you enroll in a clinical trial, we help coordinate doctor visits, tests and procedures at a location that’s convenient for you.

Search current clinical trials at Henry Ford.

Newly diagnosed?

Contact the cancer team 24/7 by calling (888) 777-4167.


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