Clinical Trials for Oral Cancer
Clinical trials are research studies that test drugs and therapies. Some of these treatments are not yet available to the public. Taking part in a clinical trial is often the only way to possibly gain access to promising new treatments, which might turn out to work better or have fewer side effects than current approaches.1,2
The Verdict on Trials
There are several good reasons to think about volunteering for a clinical trial, such as the following:
Early access to cutting-edge treatments
Close monitoring by health care professionals on the research team
The chance to help others by taking part in medical research1
On the downside, new treatments don’t always turn out to be better than older ones. At times, there may be unexpected risks. And in many studies, only half of the participants get the new treatment. For comparison’s sake, the other half are randomly chosen to receive standard care. The research team and your doctor can help you weigh the pros and cons of a particular trial for you.2
Who Can Sign Up
Not everyone can join a clinical trial. First you have to meet certain requirements. Here are some factors that might affect your eligibility:
Where to Learn More
If you’re interested in joining a clinical trial, talk with your doctor. Ask about any ongoing trials for which you might be eligible. To learn about clinical trials in your area, you can also call the National Cancer Institute’s free Cancer Information Service at 1-800-4-CANCER (1-800-422-6237)3 or visit www.clinicaltrials.gov
1 “Clinical Trials: Questions and Answers.” National Cancer Institute, April 7, 2010. www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/factsheet/Information/clinical-trials Accessed 2010.
2 “Clinical Trials: What You Need to Know.” American Cancer Society, May 30, 2008. www.cancer.org/Treatment/TreatmentsandSideEffects/ClinicalTrials/WhatYouNeedtoKnowaboutClinicalTrials/ Accessed 2010.
3 “The National Cancer Institute’s Cancer Information Service: Questions and Answers.” National Cancer Institute, August 28, 2009. www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/factsheet/Information/CIS Accessed 2010.
Online Medical Reviewer:
Eakle, Stephan W., DDS
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