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Clinical Trials

What Are Clinical Trials?

Clinical trials are research studies. They go beyond the laboratory. They test new treatments such as  medications, surgical techniques or radiation therapy, combinations of treatments or methods.

Clinical trials determine whether new approaches are safe and valuable. In fact, most of today’s treatments were yesterday’s clinical trials. 

Some have been pioneered at the Case Comprehensive Cancer Center.  One of only 41 National Cancer Institute-designated comprehensive cancer centers, Cleveland’s center offers early access to clinical trials  that are an important part of identifying, treating and curing cancer.

Types of Clinical Trials

Clinical trials examine prevention, screening, treatment and quality of life (supportive care).

  • Prevention: Researchers seek ways to lower the risk of cancer, from lifestyle to diet.
  • Screening: Screening trials look for new ways to identify cancer before symptoms exist.
  • Treatment: These trials are, perhaps, the most familiar. They look at new treatments and new combinations of existing treatments.
  • Quality of life (supportive care): Quality of Life trials look for ways to improve comfort of those living with cancer. For example, experts may study drugs to reduce chemotherapy side effects or control pain.

Phases of Clinical Trials

Cancer clinical trials are done in "phases." Each phase is designed to answer a separate research question.

  • Phase I looks for a safe dose,
  • Phase II measures effectiveness,
  • Phase III compares new treatment with  best existing cancer treatment,
  • Phase IV evaluates new uses or long-term effects of the treatment.

Joining a Clinical Trial

People choose a clinical trial hoping for the latest, best treatment and outcomes. Or they join to improve cancer treatments for future patients. Before joining a clinical trial, doctors will assess whether a patient is an appropriate candidate. Meanwhile, patients should arm themselves with information about the trial.

Think through why you may want to participate in a clinical trial and learn your patient rights while doing so.

For more information, please contact:

UH Seidman Cancer Center
Call: 1.800.641.2422
Visit: uhhospitals.org/seidman/research/clinical-trials

Cleveland Clinic
Call: 1.866.223.8100
Visit: my.clevelandclinic.org/services/cancer/clinical-trials-research

National Cancer Institute
Call: 1.800.4.CANCER (1.800.422.6237)
Visit: cancer.gov

 

Learn More About Cancer Clinical Trials

UH Seidman Cancer Center
Call: 1.800.641.2422
Learn more >

Cleveland Clinic Taussig Cancer Institute
Call: 1.866.223.8100
Learn more >

National Cancer Institute
Call: 1.800.4.CANCER (1.800.422.6237)
Learn more >