Are Cancer Clinical Trials Right For Me? If So, When?
By Steven Vasilev MD

There are thousands of clinical trials available on any given day for various forms of cancer. The next step is a Phase II trial, in which the treatment is offered to patients who have a variety of cancer types. These patients also have cancer which is progressing despite all standard therapies. Phase II trials are used to determine if the treatment has any benefit for each particular type of cancer.
If an agent/drug shows some good effect against a particular type of cancer, a Phase III study is initiated to see if the agent/drug is better than the known best treatment against that particular cancer. This requires something called "randomization", which means that the patient will get either the standard therapy or the experimental therapy determined by chance. Phase III trials are made available when a very promising therapy (based on Phase I and Phase II information) is felt to be possibly better than the standard therapy. The best compendium of research trials can be found on the National Cancer Institute's and the American Cancer Society's websites.

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