A clinical trial is a research study that patients may volunteer to participate in to advance new medical treatments. Clinical trials are designed to explore the safety and efficacy of treatments not yet available to everyone. Patients who are interested in becoming participants are screened prior to registering into a trial to determine eligibility. Trials have very specific criteria. For example, the trial may be designed for patients who have not already received a certain type of chemotherapy drug. If you have received that drug, you may not be able to participate in that particular trial.
The screening process often includes signing an informed consent, getting blood work done to evaluate the function of vital organs prior to treatment, and having CT scans. Based on these tests, it will be determined whether or not the new treatment is recommended and/or available to you. Those who enter into a trial always have the option to leave at any time and under any circumstances.
We believe that clinical trials provide our patients with more options in the treatment of hematology and oncology. Clinical trials are essential in providing new treatments and medications before they become available to the public. It is through clinical trials that the FDA approves these new therapies.
If you are interested or have questions regarding clinical trials, please ask your doctor for more information.