- Clinical Trials: What You Need to Know
- Why do we need clinical trials?
- What happens before a clinical trial starts?
- Some facts about clinical trials 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
- How are study participants protected?
- 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?
- Private insurers and the new health care law
- What would it be like to be in a clinical trial?
- What if I’m not eligible for a clinical trial?
- Summing it all up
- To learn more
Summing it all up
Clinical trials can offer benefits for many people with cancer. 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’re thinking about taking part in 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.
Last Medical Review: 09/25/2014
Last Revised: 10/31/2014