Living longer and better after cancer

Clinical trials play a vital role in advancing cancer treatment at Kaiser Permanente, improving patients’ survival and quality of life.

“Until the day that cancer is cured, there’s always room for improvement,” said Helen Moon, MD, a hematologist and oncologist at the Kaiser Permanente Riverside Medical Center.

Helping to achieve that improvement is Dr. Moon’s role as a cancer clinical trials investigator for Kaiser Permanente in Southern California. “Clinical trials assess the standard of care versus the new drugs that are coming down the pipeline,” she explained. “We [evaluate] the newest drugs and improve our patients’ survival.”

One of the most promising new approaches to cancer treatment is immunotherapy, which helps a patient’s immune system fight cancer.

“What we are trying to do conceptually is to mount an immune response against that cancer, so not only does the primary cancer shrink, but you’re left with a memory of that cancer immunologically, and it can guard you against further incidents,” said Dr. Moon. “Immunotherapy has really changed the world for a number of cancer patients.”

Learn how research at Kaiser Permanente is transforming health and health care.