What is a Clinical Trial?
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.
Reasons to Consider a Clinical Trial
There are a number of reasons you or your doctor may want to consider participation in a clinical trial, including:
Access to investigational treatments before they become widely available
Opportunity to play a role in the discovery of treatments, cures and preventions for certain diseases or medical conditions
Ability to play a more active role in your own healthcare
Access to free physical examinations and diagnostic tests related to the study
How Do I Find a Clinical Trial?
There are several websites that give details about clinical trials for all types of cancer. The clinical trials on each of these sites may be a bit different, but most trials will be on all sites. Many of these groups also have a phone number you can call for help with your search.
Here are some of the most often used resources.
National Institutes of Health (NIH) is a database of privately and publicly funded clinical studies conducted around the world. clinicaltrials.gov. Not all the studies listed are cancer clinical trials.
National Cancer Institute (NCI) provides an online search tool for cancer clinical trials at cancer.gov/about-cancer/treatment/clinical-trials. You can ask for help with a search by calling 1-800-4-CANCER (1-800-422-6237).
Center for Information and Study on Clinical Research Participation (CISCRP) provides an online search tool at ciscrp.org/. You can also get help with searches at 1-877-MED HERO
EmergingMed Clinical Trial Navigator Service includes an online search tool to look for clinical trials. You can also get help from a clinical trial navigator through their website.