What are Clinical Trials?
Clinical trials are research studies that are designed to evaluate experimental (or "investigational") medical treatments or procedures. Our clinical trials are designed to evaluate experimental treatments and procedures for cancer patients. Clinical trials play a key role in the progress against cancer at JWCI and other institutions.
The search for new cancer treatments or diagnostic tests begins in the laboratory. Experimental drugs, agents, or procedures are tested on cells or animals. If laboratory and animal testing demonstrates effectiveness with cancer cells or tumors, and is safe, a clinical trial may be designed to evaluate if similar results occur in human beings. A clinical trial is just one stage in the long and detailed cancer research process.
Clinical trials can be designed to evaluate modifications to existing or "standard" treatment for specific cancers, new experimental drugs or agents, new experimental ways to care for people with cancer as they receive treatment, or experimental methods of identifying cancer.
Why are Clinical Trials Important?
Most advances in the diagnosis, treatment, and care of patients with cancer have occurred because of clinical trials. Examples include improved diagnostic tests that allow for earlier treatment, increased knowledge and education regarding risk factors, and experimental treatments (e.g., surgery, radiation therapy, chemotherapy or biological therapy). The results of many clinical trials have contributed to health care professionals finding better ways to treat cancer.