Understanding Gynecologic Cancer Clinical Trials



if you have been diagnosed with a gynecologic cancer your doctor may have mentioned clinical trials clinical trials tests new medical treatments and procedures in eligible patients participation is strictly voluntary when considering a clinical trial it is helpful to understand the different phases of clinical trials that might be involved in your treatment phase one trials are usually the first step in testing a new therapy in human beings and usually involve twenty to forty patients these early trials are designed to study the safety of a new therapy as well as how the treatment is processed in the body this helps scientists determine the best dose for the new treatment people with many kinds of cancer can participate in Phase one clinical trials and often it does not matter how many treatments you have completed previously if the scientists find the new treatment is effective in treating a particular kind of cancer the next step is to test it in a Phase two trial phase two trials test how well the therapy works on a specific kind of cancer also known as clinical efficacy whether you are eligible for participation may depend upon how many treatments you have had in the past these trials involve a larger number of participants usually between 25 and 100 patients phase 3 clinical trials compare the clinical efficacy of the new treatment against the current standard treatment enrollment and range from 100 to 1000 patients your doctor can help you decide what phase of clinical trial best suits your needs sometimes clinical trials are randomized which means your treatment plan will be assigned randomly to you like the toss of a coin the treatment plan assigned to you maybe the experimental therapy or might be a well-established regimen being used for comparison sometimes a placebo is used for comparison a placebo is a treatment that looks just like the study treatment but does not have the active ingredient like a sugar pill although there are investigational trials where one treatment may be compared against a placebo the vast majority of trials utilizing placebos add the placebo to treatments that are known to be effective for example one treatment is known to be effective in treating cancer but a new drug given with this treatment might be more effective a study designed to see if the two drugs are better than the one alone might compare these treatments with the original drug plus a placebo in this kind of study everyone who participates gets active treatment regardless of the phase involved clinical trials patients are monitored closely for their response to the treatment experienced researchers use the study data to help these patients and other women with gynecologic cancers expand their range of treatment options all of today's standard cancer treatments are the result of clinical trials conducted years ago and each of the new and promising cancer treatments that come along are also a result of clinical trial research which means that patients on existing clinical trials have the opportunity to receive the therapies of tomorrow today you

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