The Importance of Clinical Trials

Clinical trials are the standard by which we measure the worth of new treatments and the quality of life of patients as they receive those treatments. For this reason, doctors and researchers urge people with cancer to take part in clinical trials.

Your doctor can guide you in making a decision about whether a clinical trial is right for you. Here are a few things that you should know:

  • Often, people who take part in clinical trials gain access to and benefit from new treatments.
  • Before you participate in a clinical trial, you will be fully informed as to the risks and benefits of the trial.
  • Most clinical trials are designed to test a new treatment against a standard treatment to find out whether the new treatment has any added benefit.
  • You can stop taking part in a clinical trial at any time for any reason.

When considering participation in a clinical trial, it’s important to consult with your primary care physician and your oncologist, and to make sure that all of your questions are answered.

This is a very exciting time in cancer research, and there are clinical trials underway to study newer treatment approaches, such as immunotherapy and targeted treatments. In immunotherapy, the immune system’s ability to seek out and destroy cancer cells is enhanced. Targeted treatments are designed to target the specific cell mechanisms that are important for the growth and survival of tumor cells.