Clinical trials for cancer in San Antonio

The Methodist Healthcare Cancer Network is one of the leading cancer research programs in Texas and has provided advancements in cancer treatments. We bring the latest cancer treatments to San Antonio by participating in cancer care research trials and studies. Clinical trials provide patients with either the best treatment currently available or a new and possibly more effective therapy.

For more information about our cancer clinical trials, please call askSARAH at (210) 507-0941.

How do clinical trials work?

Studies are broken down into different phases that each focus on certain things.

  • Phase 1 investigates safety, side effects and the best dose of study drugs.
  • Phase 2 determines the effectiveness and safety.
  • Phase 3 looks at effectiveness, side effects and safety compared with other treatments.
  • Phase 4 gathers more information after the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approves the drug, and it is on the market.

Each cancer trial has a written detailed study design called a protocol. A protocol includes why the trial is needed, the purpose of the trial, what drug or drugs are being tested and who can join the study. It also includes:

  • Safety measures
  • How outcomes will be measured
  • What information will be gathered about you

Standard treatment

Standard treatment is a treatment that experts agree is appropriate, accepted and widely used. As with any treatment, it will have side effects. For example, the standard treatment for some blood cancers may only be somewhat effective, in these instances, you may want to consider a clinical trial.


Randomization enables doctors to compare new treatments with standard treatments. Patients are divided into different groups at random. The control group receives the best standard treatment available and the treatment group receives the treatment under study. Sometimes a placebo may be used, but rarely in cancer studies.


A placebo is designed to look like the medicine being tested, but it is not active. A study may compare standard treatment plus a new treatment to standard treatment plus a placebo. You will be told if the study uses a placebo, but you will not know if you are getting the placebo, nor will your study team—this is called “blinding,” which allows the research team to look at your side effects without bias.

Types of clinical trials we offer

We encourage you to discuss your treatment options including research trials with your doctor. Clinical trials are available for all stages of cancer and various transplants.

About Sarah Cannon Cancer Institute

Methodist Healthcare is part of Sarah Cannon, the Cancer Institute of HCA Healthcare. Our family of hospitals provides comprehensive cancer services with convenient access to cutting-edge therapies for people facing cancer in our communities. From diagnosis, to treatment and survivorship care, our oncology expertise ensures you have access to locally-trusted care with the support of a globally-recognized network.

askSARAH helpline

Have cancer questions? We can help. askSARAH is a dedicated helpline for your cancer-related questions. Our specially-trained nurses are available 24/7 and all calls are confidential. Contact askSARAH at (210) 507-0941 or chat online at