- Clinical Trials: What You Need to Know
- Why do we need clinical trials?
- What happens before clinical trials?
- Some facts about clinical trials: Important points to keep in mind
- What are the phases of clinical trials?
- Phase 0 clinical trials: Exploring if and how a new drug may work
- Phase I clinical trials: Is the treatment safe?
- Phase II clinical trials: Does the treatment work?
- Phase III clinical trials: Is it better than what’s already available?
- Submission for FDA approval: New drug application (NDA)
- Phase IV clinical trials: What else do we need to know?
- Who sponsors and runs clinical trials?
- Should I think about taking part in a clinical trial?
- Answers to some common questions about clinical trials
- Other questions you should ask your research team
- What protects the study participants?
- What’s out there? Finding clinical trials
- How do I figure out which study is for me?
- What about cost? Will my insurance cover it?
- What would it be like to take part in a clinical trial?
- What if I’m not eligible for a clinical trial?
- Summing it all up
Summing it all up
Clinical trials can offer benefits for many people during their cancer experience. These may include access to newer or more treatment options, getting more involved medical care, and having a greater sense of control over one’s situation. But by their nature, clinical trials involve some possible risks and downsides, too, and they may not be right for everyone. Your decision on whether to look into or enter a clinical trial should be based on a realistic understanding of the possible risks and benefits.
If you are thinking about entering a clinical trial, there are many groups, including the American Cancer Society, who can help guide you through the information needed to make your decision.
To learn more
More information from your American Cancer Society
Here is some information you might find helpful. You can order free copies of our documents from our toll-free number, 1-800-227-2345, or read them on our Web site, www.cancer.org.
Clinical trials and cancer treatments
Informed Consent (also in Spanish)
Coping with cancer
Coping With Cancer in Everyday Life (also in Spanish)
Helping Children When A Family Member Has Cancer: Dealing With Treatment (also in Spanish)
National organizations and Web sites*
Along with the American Cancer Society, other sources of information and support include:
National Cancer Institute
Toll-free number: 1-800-422-6237 (1-800-4-CANCER)
Web site: www.cancer.gov
Offers general cancer information as well as information on clinical trials, deciding whether to take part, finding certain clinical trials, research news, and other resources. Special information on clinical trials at www.cancer.gov/clinicaltrials
Cancer Hope Network
Toll-free number: 1-877-467-3638
Web site: www.cancerhopenetwork.org
Matches adult cancer patients with trained volunteers who have recovered from a similar cancer experience for telephone support. One program matches volunteers who have been on clinical trials with others who are considering taking part in a clinical trial.
Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS)
Toll-free number: 1-800-633-4227 (1-800-MEDICARE)
Web site: www.cms.hhs.gov
A federal agency with the US Department of Health and Human Services that helps Americans and small companies by ensuring effective, up-to-date health care coverage and promoting quality care for beneficiaries. They help answer questions, give information, and refer callers to state Medicare offices and local HMOs with Medicare contracts. (The Medicare phone number can be used to reach CMS as well.)
No matter who you are, we can help. Contact us anytime, day or night, for information and support. Call us at 1-800-227-2345 or visit www.cancer.org.
Last Medical Review: 09/21/2012
Last Revised: 09/21/2012