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Research & Clinical Trials


Since opening in 1973, our Cancer Center has led the world in deciphering the mechanisms of cancer and developing new ways to treat it. Johns Hopkins’ pioneering research defined cancer as a genetic disease that, in turn, led to the first genetic tests for a hereditary cancer and a screening tool test for colon cancer. Kimmel Cancer Center researchers completed the first map of a cancer genome and were among the first to develop therapeutic cancer vaccines and to perform bone marrow transplants to treat blood and immune-forming cancers. But the expertise and commitment of our investigators is only part of the reason that Hopkins is a world leader in breakthrough discoveries related to cancer.  The mission of the Kimmel Cancer Center is to go beyond the cutting edge in science and medicine to perform the most advanced research and translate the discoveries into the very best cancer therapies. The latest, plus some—is how Kimmel Cancer Center Director William Nelson describes this objective, pointing to state-of-the-art as just the starting point of what we offer.


Without patients who generously commit their time to participate in clinical trials, such advances would come to a standstill—and forthcoming ones would be inconceivable.

In the last few decades, incredible strides have been made in cancer research, but there remains much to do. Our investigators are committed to improving their understanding of how best to prevent cancer; to diagnose cancer earlier; to provide patients with more effective and less toxic treatments; and to reduce reoccurrence rates and long-term side effects. Patient participation in clinical trials is crucial to reaching these goals.

We applaud each of the patients who have stepped forward to participate in one of our prior clinical trials. And we encourage patients who may be eligible for a pending or ongoing trial to examine more closely the possibility of enrolling in one. Click here to learn more about trials for which we are currently recruiting.

As cancer trials tend to be lengthy and their outcomes often provide only pieces of an ongoing puzzle, participants may not always reap the benefits of their discoveries personally. But their participation is invaluable to our researchers’ progress. A trial’s outcome may reveal the safety or efficacy of a new therapy. It may determine which subset of patients can forego a painful and lengthy treatment in favor of a shorter and more effective one. Ultimately, it may help us halt cancer altogether.

Learn more about our Research Programs and search our database of ongoing Clinical Trials


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