Clinical trials are research studies that test new drugs and treatments to help manage diseases. The following are benefits
and risks of clinical trials, from the Canadian Cancer Encyclopedia (2012):
- When an experimental treatment is being studied in comparison to a standard treatment, it is possible that the participant might not receive the new treatment being tested. However, the participant will receive the best standard cancer treatment available.
- If the new drug being studied in a clinical trial works effectively to treat or prevent cancer, the participants in the study will be the first to benefit.
- In learning about clinical research and joining a clinical trial, a person takes an active role in a decision that affects their life. This can be personally empowering.
- The person may benefit from the extra follow-up care provided to participants.
- The person has a chance to help others and to improve the treatment of cancer.
- The person has a chance to further the knowledge of early detection, screening and diagnosis, supportive care and prevention of cancer, which could lead to improved outcomes.
- Cancer screening trials may encourage participants to continue checkups on a regular basis, which can lead to overall improved health.
- New drugs or treatments under study are not always better than, or as good as, the standard ones.
- There may be unexpected side effects that may be worse than those caused by standard drugs or treatments. A person is watched carefully during the study in case they have a bad reaction to the new drug or treatment.
- Although a new drug or treatment may have benefits, it may not work for every participant (just as a standard treatment may not work for everyone).
- Participants that get standard treatment may not benefit as much as those receiving the new one (if it is found to be more effective at treating cancer).
- Being in a clinical trial may take extra time or be inconvenient. A person may be required to have more tests or take extra medicines.
- Canadian Cancer Trials
- National Cancer Institute Clinical Trials
- Preston Robert Tisch Brain Tumor Center at Duke University Clinical Trials/Studies
- Siteman Cancer Center Clinical Trials
- US National Institute of Health Clinical Trials
- UCLA Neuro-Oncology Clinical Trials
- University of Miami Health System Clinical Trials
- Virtual Trials