Clinical trials are research studies that involve people. Through clinical trials, doctors find new ways to improve treatments and the quality of life for people with disease.
Aims of Clinical Trials
Researchers design cancer clinical trials to test new ways to:
- Treat cancer
- Find and diagnose cancer
- Prevent cancer
- Manage symptoms of cancer and side effects from its treatment
Clinical trials are the final step in a long process that begins with research in a lab. Before any new treatment is used with people in clinical trials, researchers work for many years to understand its effects on cancer cells in the lab and in animals. They also try to figure out the side effects it may cause.
Any time somebody needs treatment for cancer, clinical trials are an option to think about. Trials are available for all stages of cancer. It is a myth that they are only for people who have advanced cancer that is not responding to treatment.
Every trial has a person in charge, usually a doctor, who is called the principal investigator. The principal investigator prepares a plan for the trial, called a protocol. The protocol explains what will be done during the trial. It also contains information that helps the doctor decide if this treatment is right for you. The protocol includes information about:
- The reason for doing the trial
- Who can join the trial (called “eligibility criteria”)
- How many people are needed for the trial
- Any drugs or other treatments that will be given, how they will be given, the dose, and how often
- What medical tests will be done and how often
- What types of information will be collected about the people taking part
Why Are Clinical Trials Important?
Today, people are living longer lives from successful cancer treatments that are the results of past clinical trials. Through clinical trials, doctors determine whether new treatments are safe and effective and work better than current treatments. Clinical trials also help us find new ways to prevent and detect cancer. And they help us improve the quality of life for people during and after treatment. When anybody take part in a clinical trial, he adds to global knowledge about cancer and help improve cancer care for future patients. Clinical trials are the key to making progress against cancer.
Where to find Clinical Trials?
ClinicalTrials.gov is a database of privately and publicly funded clinical studies conducted around the world.
The ClinicalTrials.gov website provides current information about clinical research studies to patients, their families and caregivers, health care professionals, and the public. Each study record includes a summary of the study protocol, including the purpose, recruitment status, and eligibility criteria. Study locations and specific contact information are listed to assist with enrollment. Information on ClinicalTrials.gov is provided and updated by the sponsor or principal investigator of the clinical study. Clinicaltrials.gov is a free service of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and is maintained by the National Library of Medicine (NLM).
Searching ClinicalTrials.gov does not require registration or personal identification. Because ClinicalTrials.gov is a US Government website, it does not host or receive funding or advertising from commercial entities or display commercial content.