How a Kaiser Permanente clinical trial helped save a young mother’s life

Margarita Vacanti of Lakewood, Colorado, woke up one morning knowing something wasn’t right. The 34-year-old mother of three had a history of breast cancer in her family. So when she started experiencing symptoms, she immediately contacted her local Kaiser Permanente facility. Tests confirmed what she feared most — she had stage 2 cancer.

Margarita’s oncologist wasted no time, enrolling her in a clinical trial and chemotherapy plan that had shown encouraging results for cancers of her stage and size. “My oncologist knew exactly how the next 18 months were going to proceed, and that was incredibly reassuring,” says Margarita. “It also inspired enormous trust because I knew my oncologist was up on all the latest research and would never take a passive approach to my treatment.” Margarita is now cancer free.

Hear about Kaiser Permanente’s clinical trial work from Elizabeth McGlynn, Director of Kaiser Permanente’s Center for Effectiveness and Safety

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From clinical trials to the medical office

Kaiser Permanente’s oncology clinical trials give our members access to new cancer therapies before they’re approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), making it possible for patients like Margarita to get innovative medications and treatments before they’re commercially available. These trials are a key driver of medical advances, leading to new, effective ways to help prevent, detect, and treat diseases.

Other advances and initiatives from the Kaiser Permanente Oncology Clinical Trials program include:

  • a new therapy for lung cancer patients that trains their immune systems to attack cancer cells directly
  • frequent text message reminders to help women with breast cancer keep up with their daily medication regimen

Ongoing trials and research across the organization

At Kaiser Permanente, our team of doctors, nurses, and specialists reviews and selects clinical trials they determine need further study — underscoring our efforts to cultivate continuous improvement in everything we do. Clinical trials are just one example of our organization-wide commitment to research.

Read more about our oncology clinical trials program.

Learn more about research at Kaiser Permanente.