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Many types of treatment are offered through blood cancer clinical trials. The different types of studies are outlined below.

Treatment Type

What Are Researchers Studying?

Questions Researchers Hope to Answer

Drug therapy New chemotherapy drugs or new combination of drugs What is the best order and combinations of chemotherapy drug therapies?
Drug maintenance therapy The benefits of continuing therapy after remission with the same drug(s) used to induce the remission Is disease progression or overall survival any different with or without maintenance therapy?
Targeted drug therapy Drugs designed to interfere with cell functions of specific cancer cells, resulting in cancer cell death Does the targeted therapy used alone have better response rates and/or overall survival than standard therapy with fewer side effects? Should it be combined with other standard therapies to improve effectiveness?
Radiation therapy New combinations of treatment types Are outcomes improved compared with current outcomes for patients getting combined radiation and drug therapy?
Immunotherapy Immunotherapy that can trigger the body's immune system to fight cancer cells If there is a good response, should the therapy be combined with standard treatment or used alone?
Radioimmunotherapy The ability to deliver radiation to blood cancer cells by attaching a radioisotope to a monoclonal antibody Can this therapy be used as a first-line therapy with fewer side effects and with equal or better overall survival time than current standard front-line treatment options?
Stem cell transplantation New stem cell transplant procedures When is the best time for stem cell transplant and which type of transplant is best (auto, allogeneic, reduced intensity allogeneic, tandem)?
Supportive therapy Treatments to reduce disease or treatment-related side effects such as nausea, vomiting, infection and fatigue Does the supportive therapy reduce side effects and improve patients' quality of life? Does it interfere with or compromise the effects of cancer therapy?
Disease and treatment response monitoring Better diagnostics and monitoring techniques Are certain cytogenetic tests good indicators of the likelihood of progression of an indolent disease such as chronic lymphocytic leukemia or myeloma? How do imaging technologies such as MRI and PET scans compare in evaluating responses to therapy and recurrence of lymphoma and other blood cancers?

last updated on Tuesday, March 15, 2011

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