Learn About Cancer Clinical Trials
Why Are Cancer Clinical Trials Important?
Clinical trials are important for many reasons
Cancer clinical trials are no longer seen as a last resort for cancer
patients who had no other treatment choices. Today, patients often choose to
receive their first cancer treatment in a clinical trial for many reasons.
First, cancer patients who take part in a trial may be helped by the
treatment they receive. Trial participants receive either the standard of
care—what scientists consider the most effective known treatment available—or
the new medication or procedure under study. Cancer trial participants have access to
the latest drugs, procedures, and other types of treatment. Although there is
no guarantee that a new treatment will be effective, many trial participants
conclude that the possible benefits outweigh the risks. But if a new treatment
is effective, patients in clinical trials are among the first to receive it.
Second, clinical trials contribute to the overall knowledge and
progress against cancer. Many of today’s standard treatments for cancer began
in clinical trials. In fact, cancer clinical trials run by cooperative groups have
helped establish the effectiveness of lumpectomy for breast cancer, new
chemotherapy drugs for colon cancer, and the combination of chemotherapy and
radiation for advanced cervical cancer. Many people treated for cancer are now
living longer thanks to the knowledge gained through clinical trials.
Third, cancer can be a terrifying diagnosis. Taking an active
part in your cancer treatment, and knowing that you might be helping to find a cure by
enrolling in a trial, can be an empowering experience.