Major pharmaceutical companies continually research and develop new cancer medications and treatments, which must be shown to be safe and effective before doctors can prescribe them to patients. Through cancer clinical trials, researchers test the effects of new drugs on a group of volunteers with cancer. Following a strict protocol and using carefully controlled conditions, researchers evaluate the drugs under development and measure the ability of the new drug to treat cancer, its safety, and any possible side effects.
Some patients with cancer are reluctant to take part in clinical trials for fear of getting no treatment at all for their cancer. This is simply not true. Patients with cancer who participate in cancer clinical trials receive the most effective therapy currently available for their cancer -- or they may receive cancer treatments that are being evaluated for future use. These cancer treatments may be even more effective than the current cancer treatment. The only way to determine if the newer treatment is better than the currently available treatment is by clinical trial participation.
Many of the medical and scientific terms used in this summary are found in the NCI Dictionary of Genetics Terms. When a linked term is clicked, the definition will appear in a separate window.
Creating evidence-based summaries on cancer genetics is challenging because the rapid evolution of new information often results in evidence that is incomplete or of limited quality. In addition, established methods for evaluating the quality of the evidence are available for some, but not all, aspects of...
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.