Clinical trials are scientific studies that try to answer important healthcare questions.  In Oncology, clinical trials are used to discover better and faster ways to treat and cure cancer.  These studies are designed, reviewed and continually evaluated for participant’s protection over the life of the trial. Clinical trials are essential for moving new methods of preventing, diagnosing, and treating cancer from the laboratory to physicians’ offices and other clinical settings.

In clinical trials, researchers carefully and methodically test drugs, medical devices, screening approaches, behavioral modifications, and other interventions. Trials are used to answer many different clinical questions relevant to all aspects of health care, such as

whether a treatment can prevent cancer in people at increased risk, whether a new drug can extend the lives of patients with advanced cancer, or whether specific treatment approaches can improve patients’ quality of life. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) typically requires proof of safety and effectiveness of a new anticancer drug in a large clinical trial before it can be used broadly in patient care.

In addition to testing new interventions, clinical trials can help determine the best use of existing interventions, test new approaches for increasing the number of people who seek follow-up care after a positive cancer screening test, and test ways to improve end-of-life care for patients