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Robert R. Cawley, D.O.

Dover, NH 03802

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Cancer Treatment: Is a Clinical Trial Right for You?

People diagnosed with cancer are living longer, healthier lives thanks to better and more effective cancer treatments — current treatments that would not be possible without clinical trials.

Cancer clinical trials are research studies designed to discover new and better ways to prevent, diagnose and treat cancers. Simply stated, “Clinical trials are exploring the future of cancer care to improve outcomes and quality of life,” says Arul Mahadevan, MD, FRCS, medical director of radiation oncology and head of the clinical trial program for the Seacoast Cancer Center.

Wentworth-Douglass Hospital’s Seacoast Cancer Center offers patients access to a variety of clinical trials focused on finding new ways to treat cancer or to improve the quality of life of people living with cancer. These are Phase II and III trials, which are generally larger national studies that help doctors understand the effectiveness of new drugs or treatments. These studies are usually randomized, with groups of patients assigned to receive the new treatment or the current standard of care.

Clinical trials offered by the Seacoast Cancer Center are sponsored or funded by the National Cancer Institute (NCI) or by pharmaceutical collaborators. “Our ability to enroll patients in clinical trials means the Seacoast Cancer Center meets rigorous national standards for patient care that have been verified by independent organizations accredited by the National Cancer Institute,” explains Dr. Mahadevan.


There are clinical trials for all types and stages of cancer. It’s a myth that a patient must have exhausted all other options before enrolling in a trial.

At the Seacoast Cancer Center, research staff screens every patient to see if they meet the eligibility requirements for an available clinical trial. If a match is found, the provider will discuss the trial with the patient, going over all the potential benefits, risks and responsibilities up front.

Our providers also collaborate closely with Massachusetts General Hospital and other academic medical centers to help patients who need specialized care or access to a particular clinical trial.

New trials are also always being added. “Our staff is always scouting for new trials that will offer the most benefit to our community and that are asking the most important questions,” says Christine Pilar BS, CCRC, Lead Clinical Research Coordinator – Oncology.

A list of trials that are currently enrolling patients at the Seacoast Cancer Center can be seen at

Your cancer care means the world to us. Learn more about the dedicated team of caregivers at Wentworth-Douglass Hospital’s Seacoast Cancer Center in Dover and coming soon to Portsmouth. Call (603) 742-8787.