Clinical trials can be defined in a number of different ways, but they typically involve studies to evaluate the effectiveness of new drugs and treatment plans for different areas of medicine. Clinical trials are especially important in the fields of oncology and hematology because, in the absence of high cure rates, nearly all therapeutic approaches for cancer are developmental in nature. All new cancer drugs that are currently available in the United States were once available only through clinical trials.
Participants in clinical trials are typically able to play a much more active role in their own health care, gaining access to new research and treatments before they are available and leaving a legacy by contributing to medical research.
Patients should decide whether participation in a clinical trial is an appropriate treatment option as early during their evaluation process as possible. Once other treatment begins, they may become ineligible to participate in some clinical trials. Another important fact to remember is that patients can leave a clinical trial at any time.
Search the list of clinical trials available locally through the Wellmont Cancer Institute.
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