Phases of Cancer Clinical Trials – An Introduction, with Neal Meropol, MD



cancer clinical trials which are also called clinical studies are the way we have to find new ways to prevent treat and diagnosed cancer all of the treatments that we now consider to be standard today were once tested in clinical trials when patients volunteered to be part of a clinical trial they're taking part in research and on one hand have the opportunity to gain access to a new therapy a potential treatment that they might not otherwise have access to for themselves and the hope of personal gain on the other hand they're contributing knowledge that will help future cancer patients as well and help us develop the new standards of tomorrow as you talk about clinical trials with your doctor you may hear your doctor speak of them in terms of phases phase 1 clinical trial phase 2 clinical trial phase 3 clinical trial each phase of clinical trials has different objectives a Phase one clinical trial is the first time a drug or a combination of drugs are being used in people and the goal of a phase one study is to determine the optimal dose and schedule and find out the side effects associated with with new new treatments a Phase two clinical trial treats a more homogeneous patient population treats people with a certain disease or certain characteristics of their tumor in order to find out initially does the treatment work against your type of tumor that's a phase two study when discussing a phase 3 clinical trial you may hear the term randomization because phase 3 studies assign patients to the different treatment arms the different possibilities the standard therapy or the experimental therapy by chance a computer program will often make that assignment when you choose to take part in a phase 3 study you are told beforehand what the possibilities are and what the treatment assignments might be these are often called randomized clinical trials and they're the final stage in the development of a new treatment before it seeks approval by the FDA in a phase 3 clinical trial were often treating hundreds and sometimes thousands of patients to show that the new pate the new treatment is better than the standard clinical trials represent the highest quality cancer care that we can provide and therefore I recommend that all patients discuss the options of clinical trials with their doctors one place where you can get excellent patient oriented clinical trial information is on cancer net ww cancer net cancer.net has information presented as text that you can read about clinical trials but also video content about clinical trials to answer the questions that you might have about participating in a clinical trial there is a program on cancer net called pre-act which stands for preparatory education about clinical trials that you can find at wwk internet / pre-act prea CT the pre-act program will give you access to a video library that addresses the common questions that that people have about participating in a clinical trial you

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