Major pharmaceutical companies continually research and develop new medications and treatments for brain cancer, which must be shown to be safe and effective before doctors can prescribe them to patients. Through clinical trials, researchers test the effects of new medications on a group of volunteers with brain cancer. Following a strict protocol and using carefully controlled conditions, researchers evaluate the investigational drugs under development and measure the ability of the new drug to treat brain cancer, its safety, and any possible side effects.
Some patients are reluctant to take part in clinical trials for fear of getting no treatment at all for their brain cancer. This is simply not true. Patients who participate in clinical trials receive the most effective therapy currently available for their condition -- or they may receive treatments that are being evaluated for future use. These brain cancer drugs may be even more effective than the current treatment. The only way to find out which treatment is best is by comparing them head-to-head in a clinical trial.
When doctors announced that Sen. Edward Kennedy had a kind of brain cancer called malignant
glioma, many people hearing the news had probably never heard of the cancer.
For some, however, the diagnosis was painfully familiar. WebMD talked to
three survivors of brain cancer similar to that affecting the senator,
including two who have survived it for more than 10 years. Their advice to
Kennedy: Don't listen to statistics, and don't give up hope.
Here are their stories:
This web site, developed by the nonprofit Coalition of Cancer Cooperative Groups, is an unbiased cancer clinical trial matching and navigation service enabling patients to search for cancer trials based on disease and location.