Taking part in a clinical trial may be the best treatment choice for some blood cancer patients. There are trials for patients at every stage of treatment as well as those in remission. Many of today's standard treatments for cancer are based on previous clinical trials.
Find clinical trials using the TrialCheck® search tool.
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
Agencies such as the National Cancer Institute or pharmaceutical companies usually fund cancer clinical trials.
It’s important to be aware that 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 Can Participate?
Clinical trials are appropriate for people of different types and ages, depending on the purpose and phase of the trial. Your eligibility for any given clinical trial depends on many factors, especially your disease type and stage; your age, gender and race; and other treatments you've used.
Your doctor may speak to you about participating in a clinical trial. If he or she doesn't discuss the possibility of a clinical trial with you and you'd like to know more about joining one as a treatment option, you can bring up the topic yourself. You don't have to wait until your disease is in an advanced state to participate in a clinical trial. A trial can be designed to test a new treatment that improves response rates or improves the quality of life for patients with newly diagnosed or limited disease.
Clinical trials cover a wide range of research and are designed with specific requirements that determine who is eligible to participate. For instance, researchers may be specifically looking for patients who:
- Have already tried standard treatment
- Have not had any previous treatment
- Have had standard treatment and are able to wait for a period before switching to a study treatment
- Do not have co-existing medical conditions such as liver or kidney disease
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.
You can easily find a clinical trial near you through The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS)-supported online tool TrialCheck®, powered by Eviti® Clinical Trials. This tool 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.
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 or trials 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 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.