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Scientists are looking for new ways to treat advanced prostate cancer in clinical trials. These trials test new drugs to see if they are safe and if they work.

They often are a way for people to try new medicine that isn't available to everyone. Your doctor can tell you if one of these trials might be a good fit for you, and how to find one.

What You Should Know About Clinical Trials

It's important to know that if you join a clinical trial, you may not actually get to take the drug that scientists are testing.

The researchers will randomly assign you to get the new drug or a placebo (which has no medicine). You will also get the normal medical care that's not related to the treatment they're testing.

You won't know whether you're taking the drug or the placebo. If you knew, that would affect the results.

Researchers follow the people in both groups and compare how they are doing, both in terms of how well the treatment works and any side effects that happen. Those results are key when the FDA decides whether to approve a new drug.

Benefits

If you're in a clinical trial, you may take new medicines that you can't get anywhere else. 

But even if you get the placebo, there are still advantages:

  • You'll get detailed care and attention from the health care team responsible for the trial.
  • Some clinical trials may also cover all or part of your medical costs during the trial.
  • When you take part in cancer research, the results could help other men with prostate cancer live longer.

Risks

The new treatment may not work as well as standard treatments.

There's also a risk of side effects from the drug the trial is testing. You won't know ahead of time if those side effects may be worse than the side effects of your current treatment.