BATON ROUGE, La. (BRPROUD) — Mary Bird Perkins Cancer Center is now accepting patients with a type of non-Hodgkin lymphoma in phase one of clinical trials.

This first phase aims to enhance care for patients as the cancer center works to construct a “broader, more robust research program,” according to a news release from MBPCC. Health officials said there were 357 Louisiana patients diagnosed with diffuse large B cell lymphoma, a common but aggressive cancer, between 2017 and 2020.

“Phase 1 trials are new and exciting, but they require meticulous attention to detail and vigilance to appropriately safeguard our patients,” said Victor Lin, medical director for clinical research.

The second and third phases will expand to larger groups of patients with the goal of confirming the safety and efficacy of treatment.

Lin said the cancer center is committed to bringing more access to high-quality clinical trials to the Gulf South region. According to MBPCC, every patient at its hospital undergoes evaluation for potential clinical trial participation.

“With these new offerings, we’re presenting a new way to provide patients with additional tools to treat and fight cancer,” said Lin. “We see this as an important next step in bringing more opportunities to more patients in the region.”