Understanding Clinical Trials

The future of cancer treatment has never been so promising.  Many advances in cancer treatments are being announced every day and even more treatment options that have the potential to improve the health of cancer patients are currently in development in medical facilities across the country.  As part of the development and approval process, it is crucial that these new treatments are studied to make sure that they are safe and as effective, or more effective, than current standard cancer treatment options.  

One way these new cancer treatment options are vetted are through clinical trials.  A cancer clinical trial is a medical research study in which people participate as volunteers to test new methods of prevention, screening, diagnosis, or treatment of a disease.  A cancer clinical trial can also be referred to as a cancer clinical study. 

Some cancer patients may fear that enrolling in a cancer trial means they chance receiving no cancer treatment at all, but the reality is that patients in clinical trials receive either the best cancer treatment currently known for their cancer, or a new, and possibly more effective, therapy.  By participating in a clinical trial, you may benefit by gaining access to new treatments that are not yet available to the public, obtaining expert medical care at a leading health care facility, playing an active role in your own health care and helping others by contributing to medical research.  

For more information on clinical trials, including how participants are chosen, the different phases, how they are conducted, etc., please visit the U.S. National Institutes of Health’s clinical trials website.  

To see a list of the current clinical trials offered at New Jersey CyberKnife, please click here