Taking part in a clinical trial may be the best treatment choice for some blood cancer patients. Some clinical trials are for patients at every treatment stage and for patients in remission. Many of today's standard treatments for cancer are based on earlier clinical trials.
Patients in cancer clinical trials usually receive either the study treatment or the best standard treatment. Clinical trials are conducted worldwide under rigorous guidelines to help doctors find out whether new cancer treatments are safe and effective or better than the standard treatment.
You can easily find a clinical trial near you through The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS)-supported online tool TrialCheck®, a clinical-trial search service that gives you immediate access to listings of blood cancer clinical trials. All you need to do is answer a few simple questions, and you'll be directed to an easy-to-read list of available clinical trials related to your cancer.
What Is a Clinical Trial?
A cancer clinical trial is a carefully controlled research study conducted by doctors to improve the care and treatment of people who have cancer. A treatment that's proven safe and effective in a cancer clinical trial is often approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for use as a standard treatment if it meets one or both of the following criteria:
- It's more effective than the current standard treatment.
- It has fewer side effects than the current standard treatment
The purpose of blood cancer clinical trials is to:
- improve treatment options
- increase survival
- improve quality of life
Advances in treatment for blood cancers depend on clinical trials of new therapies or new therapy combinations. Different types of cancer clinical trials are designed to develop and test new and better ways to:
- diagnose and treat cancer in people
- prevent or relieve treatment side effects
- help prevent a return of cancer
- improve comfort and quality of life for people with cancer
Institutions such as the National Cancer Institute or organizations or companies such as pharmaceutical companies usually fund cancer clinical trials.
If you're enrolled in a clinical trial, the treatment routinely covered by your health insurance or managed care plan may no longer be covered.
Who's on the Clinical Trial Team?
A clinical trial team is made up of doctors, nurses, social workers and other healthcare professionals. The team members:
- check each participant's health at the beginning of the trial
- give specific instructions for taking part in the trial
- monitor each participant's health throughout the trial
- in some cases, follow up with patients after the trial is over
Your regular doctor or healthcare provider coordinates with the research team to ensure that other ongoing drugs or treatments you're receiving won't interfere with the study treatment.
More to Explore
- How a Clinical Trial Is Planned
- Who Can Participate?
- Finding a Clinical Trial
- Informed Consent
- Clinical Trial Insurance Issues
- LLS-Sponsored Trials
- Other Disease Studies
- Disease Registries
- Download or order LLS's free booklet Understanding Clinical Trials for Blood Cancers
LLS Advocacy for Clinical Trial Access
LLS is currently leading four primary state campaigns and supporting five other state coalition-based efforts that seek legislation to increase access to cancer clinical trials.
TrialCheck Service Disclaimer
Information you receive through TrialCheck is not intended to be complete or exhaustive nor is it a substitute for the advice of your doctor. Therefore, it's important to discuss the information with your doctor. Because of clinical trial protocols and specific eligibility criteria, listings may change and/or may no longer be actively recruiting patients.
Your doctor is the only person who can determine whether you meet the specific eligibility criteria in these trials. TrialCheck performs a general search based on the information given. If you and your doctor decide that you may benefit from one of the studies, your doctor will need to contact the principal investigator in charge of the study to discuss your medical history and current health status.
LLS does not provide medical or other healthcare opinions or services. The inclusion of another organization's or hospital's resource(s) does not indicate or imply that LLS endorses, recommends or favors the enclosed information.
If you have any questions, call an LLS information specialist at (800) 955-4572, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., ET.