What Are Clinical Trials?
Clinical trials are research studies that help find new and better ways to prevent, diagnose and treat cancer. Clinical trials can involve the testing of:
- New cancer drugs
- New combinations of treatments
- New approaches to surgery and radiation therapy
- New therapeutic strategies such as gene therapy
- New ways to improve quality of life
- New ways to find and prevent cancer
Almost every cancer treatment available to patients today was first tested in a clinical trial.
Why Participate in a Clinical Trial?
If you have been newly diagnosed with cancer, or if you have not responded to standard treatments, you should talk to your doctor about participating in a clinical trial. Why? Because clinical trials are how we find new therapies, improve current treatments, and reduce current side effects. When you participate in a clinical trial, you are actively participating in improving outcomes and finding a cure for cancer.
Participating in a clinical trial also ensures that you are receiving the highest standard of cancer care available anywhere. The reason for this is simple: when you participate in a trial for a new experimental therapy, every aspect of your treatment is governed by a detailed protocol and closely monitored by a team of professionals to ensure consistency of care. The National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN) – which develops authoritative treatment guidelines for cancer – states that the best management for any patient with cancer is in a clinical trial and that participation is especially encouraged for patients making treatment decisions.
How to Find a Cancer Clinical Trial
The Stephenson Cancer Center currently has approximately 300 active clinical trials for all types and stages of cancer – more than any other center in Oklahoma. One in four patients treated at the Stephenson participates in a clinical trial. Ask your doctor or nurse about available clinical trial opportunities. All clinical trials have eligibility requirements. Your doctor or nurse can tell you if you qualify to participate.
You can search for clinical trials at the Stephenson Cancer Center here.