Finding Clinical Trials
A clinical trial is a research study designed to evaluate a new cancer treatment. Patients enrolled in a clinical trial are among the first to receive new treatments before they become widely offered.
Before participating in a clinical trial, patients are asked to read and sign an informed consent. This document is a means of obtaining consent by a patient to undergo treatment with an investigational agent after being provided with information on the possible risks and side effects of treatment, as well as a contact for additional information. The Lustgarten Foundation, in cooperation with EmergingMed, is pleased to offer a Clinical Trials Matching and Referral Service. The Service provides free and unlimited access to current, verified clinical trial information. A unique and key element of the Service is providing direct and ongoing telephone support throughout the clinical trial search process.
PHASES I, II, AND III CLINICAL TRIALS
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) oversees the administration of promising drugs and therapies in clinical trials. Before moving the drug process into human testing, many preclinical studies including successful animal studies must be performed. Once human testing begins, it is generally done in three consecutive phases called phase I, phase II, and phase III.
Phase I: A phase I clinical trial attempts to assess whether a new drug is safe for use by humans and determines the maximum dose that can be administered. These are the primary end points, or aims, of a phase I clinical trial, although researchers will, of course, be looking for indications that the experimental drug may shrink or stabilize cancer growth.
Phase II: Agents successfully completing phase I move on to phase II, which assesses whether the drug has positive effects against the cancer in question. Many potential drug therapies go no further than phase II because they show no real beneficial effect against the specific tumor being studied. Successful phase II candidates, however, move on to phase III clinical trials.
Phase III: Phase III clinical trials are designed to compare these new therapies to existing therapies. This comparison is the real test of a potential new drug. Patients with similar characteristics are assigned to receive the existing standard therapy or to receive the new therapy (this is called a “randomized clinical trial”). If the new agent shows similar or improved results as compared to existing therapy and an acceptable safety profile, it is often approved for general release by the FDA. There is even a phase IV process of study that has to do with after approval monitoring of the new drug for side effects as it makes its way into wider use.
You can download the below list as a Word document.
Clinical Trials Search Services
The Lustgarten Foundation, in cooperation with EmergingMed, is pleased to offer a Clinical Trials Matching and Referral Service. The Service provides free and unlimited access to current, verified clinical trial information. A unique and key element of the Service is providing direct and ongoing telephone support throughout the clinical trial search process.
The cancerTrials area of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) will help you understand clinical trials and the process of informed consent, as well as provide a list of studies.
Cancer Trials Support Unit
The Cancer Trials Support Unit (CTSU) is an NCI-funded program to facilitate participation by patients and physicians in Phase III NCI-sponsored cancer treatment trials.
TrialCheck is a user-friendly cancer clinical trial search engine created by the Coalition of Cancer Cooperative Groups.