Clinical Trials

Clinical trials are studies in which people volunteer to take part in tests of new drugs or procedures. Doctors use clinical trials to develop new treatments for serious diseases such as cancer. In this section you can learn about clinical trials in general, find tools to help you decide if a clinical trial may be right for you, and search for specific studies you may be eligible to take part in.

Clinical Trials: What You Need to Know

Knowing all you can about clinical trials can help you feel better when deciding whether or not to take part in one. This guide addresses many basic questions and concerns about clinical trials so that you will be better prepared to discuss this option with your doctor and your family. It can help you decide which questions you need to ask and what the answers may mean for you.

Clinical Trials Matching Service

The American Cancer Society Clinical Trials Matching Service is a free, confidential program that helps patients, their families and health care workers find cancer clinical trials most appropriate to a patient's medical and personal situation. Through a partnership with the eviti, Inc., we can help you find research studies that are testing new drugs or methods to prevent, detect or treat cancer. In just a few minutes, you can learn more about clinical trials that are relevant to your situation.

ACT: About Clinical Trials

About Clinical Trials (ACT) is a collaboration between the American Cancer Society and Genentech. At, patients and their loved ones will find informational videos, a patient discussion guide, responses to common misconceptions about cancer clinical trials, and lists of helpful resources.

Placebo Effect

Even though placebos are not active medicines, they seem to help some patients. The effects of placebos may occur because the patient believes in the substance, the treatment, or the doctor. Even if a person feels better after taking a placebo, it doesn't mean the person's illness or symptoms were not real.

Compassionate Drug Use

Medical professionals use the term "compassionate use" to refer to the treatment of a seriously ill patient using a new, unapproved drug outside of a clinical trial when no other treatments are available. Find out more about compassionate drug use here.

Exploring the Options: Clinical Trials [Video]

Learn about what participating in a clinical trial is like, why the clinical trial process is so important for cancer research, and how the ACS clinical trials matching service helps people find trials that are right for them.

Other Clinical Trials Web sites

Go here for a list of other web sites that offer information and services to help you find a clinical trial that is right for you.