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What are Clinical Trials

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  • What are Clinical Trials

What are Clinical Trials?

Clinical trials are research studies that involve people. These studies occur after laboratory and animal testing has been completed. They are the only way new cancer treatments can be tested for efficacy and safety before being made available to the public. Each study tries to answer specific scientific questions and find better ways to prevent, diagnose, or treat cancer.

Why Are Clinical Trials Important?

Clinical trials contribute to our knowledge and progress about treating cancer. Today’s standard treatments are based mainly on the results of previous clinical trials. Because of the progress that has been made, many people with cancer now live longer and continue to have productive lives. In addition to improved survival rates, clinical trials have contributed to:

  • Lower recurrence rates for many cancers
  • New treatment approaches for cancers that had no effective therapy
  • Fewer side effects and better quality of life

The more people involved in clinical trials, the faster we can answer critical research questions that will lead to better treatments.

What are the types of Cancer Clinical Trials?

  • Treatment trials in which new research therapies are being studied, such as new anticancer drugs.
  • Prevention trials exploring new approaches to prevention cancer appearance or recurrence.
  • Diagnostic tests that investigate the best way to diagnose cancer, especially in the early stages.
  • Quality-of-life/cancer control trials explore ways to improve the comfort and quality-of-life of cancer patients.

What is a Protocol?

A protocol is the action plan of a clinical trial. It specifically describes the purpose of the study, defines the size of the study and the number of participants, and describes the treatment plan and data collection. A protocol also ensures the following:

  • The risks for the participants are minimized and are reasonable in relation to the expected benefits
  • The choice of participants is fair
  • Each participant is asked for their consent after being thoroughly informed about the trial
  • Data collection is supervised to ensure security
  • Privacy and confidentiality are protected

Why consider a Clinical Trial?

  • It may be a good alternative to standard treatment
  • It can offer early access today to potentially effective treatments of tomorrow
  • The patient is monitored very closely even after the completion of treatment