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Home Clinical Trial Participation What is a Clinical Trial?
What is a Clinical Trial? PDF Print E-mail

Clinical trials are research studies in which people help doctors find ways to improve health and cancer care. Each study tries to answer scientific questions and to find better ways to prevent, diagnose, or treat cancer.

Doctors all over the country are conducting many types of clinical trials. Clinical trials are designed to answer important questions and to find out whether new approaches are safe and effective.

The National Cancer Institute, drug companies, medical institutions, and other organizations sponsor clinical trials. Clinical trials take place in many settings, such as cancer centers, large medical centers, small hospitals, and doctors' offices.

Research already has led to advances that have helped people live longer, and research continues. Researchers are studying methods of preventing lung cancer and ways to screen for it. They are also trying to find better ways to treat it.

Screening tests: Doctors are studying whether screening tests can detect lung cancer early and reduce a person's chance of dying from it. The NCI is sponsoring large research studies of chest x-rays and spiral CT scans for lung cancer screening. So far, chest x-rays and spiral CT scans have not been shown to reduce a person's chance of dying from lung cancer.

Treatment: Researchers are studying many types of treatment and their combinations.

  • Surgery: Surgeons are studying the removal of less lung tissue and using internal radiation therapy (brachytherapy) to kill cancer cells that remain.
  • Chemotherapy: Researchers are testing new anticancer drugs and new combinations of drugs. They're also combining chemotherapy with radiation therapy.
  • Targeted therapy: Doctors are combining new targeted therapies with chemotherapy and radiation therapy.
  • Radiation therapy: Researchers are studying whether radiation therapy to the brain can prevent brain tumors from forming among people with nonsmall cell lung cancer.

If you're interested in being part of a clinical trial, talk with your doctor. People who join clinical trials make an important contribution by helping doctors learn more about lung cancer and how to control it. Although clinical trials may pose some risks, researchers do all they can to protect their patients.

Educational information provided by The National Cancer Institute (NCI) Internet site.
Last Updated on Wednesday, 25 February 2009 20:23
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