As we look to the future, the hope of cancer research is to continue to make advances in cancer detection, diagnosis, and patient care that have resulted in people living longer, healthier lives than ever before.
By increasing the understanding and awareness of clinical research, we can clear up many misconceptions about cancer clinical trials.
Randomization, in which people are assigned to study groups by chance alone, helps prevent bias. Bias occurs when a trial’s results are affected by human choices or other factors not related to the treatment being tested. At several points during and at the end of the clinical trial, researchers compare the groups to see which treatment is more effective or has fewer side effects.
Clinical trials to test new cancer treatments involve a series of steps, called phases. If a new treatment is successful in one phase, it will proceed to further testing in the next phase.
Clinical trials are research studies that involve people. Through clinical trials, doctors find new ways to improve treatments and the quality of life for people with disease.
Researchers design cancer clinical trials to test new ways to:
- Treat cancer
- Find and diagnose cancer
- Prevent cancer
- Manage symptoms of cancer and side effects from its treatment
Clinical trials are the final step in a long process that begins with research in a lab. Before any new treatment is used with people in clinical trials, researchers work for many years to understand its effects on cancer cells in the lab and in animals. They also try to figure out the side effects it may cause.