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Cancer Clinical Trials

Clinical trials are also called research studies or tests of new treatments for people with diseases such as cancer. The goal is to find better ways to treat cancer and help cancer patients. Clinical trials test many treatments such as new drugs, new approaches to surgery or radiation therapy, new combinations of treatments or new methods such as gene therapy.

A clinical trial is one of the final stages of a long and careful cancer research process. The search for new treatments begins in the laboratory, where scientists first develop and test new ideas. If an approach seems promising, the next step may be testing a treatment in animals to see how it affects cancer in a living being and whether it has harmful effects.

Of course, treatments that work well in the laboratory or in animals may not always work well in people.

Studies are carried out with cancer patients to find out whether promising treatments are safe and effective. While clinical trials have risks for the people who take part, each study also takes steps to protect patients.

When you take part in a clinical trial, you receive your treatment in a cancer centre, hospital, clinic and/or doctor’s office. Doctors, nurses, social workers and other health professionals may be part of your treatment team.