Participating in a Clinical Trial

Cancer clinical trials are research studies designed to test new ways to prevent, detect, diagnose and treat cancer, and to manage symptoms or side effects from treatment. These studies are the final step in a long process that begins with research in a lab. Most standard or standard-of-care treatments in use today are the result of past clinical trials.

Whether to participate in a clinical trial is an important personal decision. Talk with your doctor, ask questions and make sure you get the information you need to feel comfortable about your decision. There are many good reasons to participate, including:


Clinical trial participants are the first to have access to new treatments that are not yet available to the public. These trials can offer patients some of the most sophisticated cancer treatments available.


Clinical trial participants receive expert medical care and careful monitoring by doctors and nurses during the study.


Clinical trials and research allow physicians and researchers to understand a patient's tumor more quickly, discovering what's driving the cancer and finding targeted therapies to treat it.


Participants have an opportunity to help others by contributing to medical research aimed at finding better cancer treatments.


Clinical trials play a vital role in advancing cancer care and treatment, and clinical trial participants play a major part in helping to create a cancer-free world. Participation in a clinical trial is 100 percent voluntary. You have the legal right to quit any clinical trial at any time and for any reason.

For many, clinical trials mean hope—hope for a cancer-free world and for better, more targeted ways to prevent, detect, diagnose, treat and cure individual cancers. Donn Young, PhD received a prostate cancer diagnosis just days before his 60th birthday. He enrolled in a clinical trial, and almost 9 years later he remains cancer free. Visit the OSUCCC — James' Clinical Trial Patient Stories to read more about his and other patients' personal cancer treatment stories.

If you are contemplating taking part in a clinical trial, or if you want a second opinion or want to speak to a clinical trial specialist, please call 800-293-5066 or visit

There Is No Routine Cancer

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