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What should I expect during clinical trials?

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During a clinical trial, doctors use the best available treatment as a standard to evaluate new treatments. The new treatments are hoped to be at least as effective as -- or possibly more effective than -- current treatments.

New treatment options are first researched in the laboratory, where they are carefully studied in the test tube and in laboratory animals. Only the treatments most likely to work are further evaluated in a small group of humans prior to applying them in a larger clinical trial.

Reviewed by Nayana Ambardekar on October 28, 2017

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What should I ask my doctor about clinical trials?

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