By Staff blogger |
Because it can take up to 15 years for a new blood cancer drug to be studied and made available for doctors to prescribe, some patients opt for clinical trials as a way to gain early access to a promising treatment.
Advancing new cancer therapies requires years of extensive clinical investigation, but clinical trials come with no guarantees.
"A drug is allowed to enter the clinical trial phase based on scientific evidence including cell and animal studies, but it's still considered experimental and unproven. We don't know if it's more effective or safer than the standard treatment until the results of clinical trial are in," said Peg McCormick, R.N., clinical trial specialist for The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.
A clinical trial is a carefully controlled research study conducted by doctors to determine safety and efficacy of an experimental treatment and to learn if the treatment increases survival and/or quality of life. A treatment that is proven safe and effective in a clinical trial often goes on to be approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).