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Clinical Trials FAQ


What is a Cancer Clinical Trial?

A Clinical Trial is designed to answer scientific questions and to find new and better ways to prevent, diagnose or treat cancer patients.

What are the different types of Clinical Trials?

Phase I trials: This is the first step in testing a new treatment in humans. These studies evaluate how safe a new drug is and at what dose. Only a small number of patients participate in these types of trials.

Phase II trials: These trials test whether a new treatment has an anticancer effect and whether it works against a certain type of cancer. These type of trials include fewer than 100 patients.

Phase III trials: These studies compare a new treatment with the standard treatment. Patients are randomly assigned to the standard group or the new treatment group, usually by a computer. This method, called randomization, helps to avoid bias. In most cases, studies move into phase III only after a treatment seems to work in phases I and II. Phase III trials can include hundreds and even thousands of people

Phase IV trials: After a treatment has been FDA approved and is being marketed, it is studied in a phase IV trial to evaluate side effects that may have not been seen in phase III trials. Thousands of people are involved in phase IV trials.

What are the Benefits of participating in a Clinical Trial?

Patients have access to promising new treatments that are not offered outside the clinical trial setting The treatment being studied may be more effective than the standard treatment Patients may be the first to benefit from a new treatment Results from the study could help other cancer patients in the future

Want More Information on Clinical Trials?

  • Cancer.net
  • The Cancer Treatment Research Foundation (CTRF)
  • Center Watch Food and Drug Administration
  • Cancer Care, Inc.

If you are interested in a specific clinical trial, or if you would like to speak to someone to see if there is a trial that you might qualify for please call the Edward Cancer Center Research Department at (630) 646-6075.


(630) 527-3000

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