When you are diagnosed with lung cancer, you and your doctor should discuss whether or not a clinical trial is a good treatment option for you. If you are interested in taking part in a clinical trial and your doctor does not discuss this option with you, be sure to ask if opportunities are available.
Clinical trials are medical research studies that test the safety and effectiveness of promising approaches to disease prevention, diagnosis, treatment and care.
Clinical trials that test cancer treatments might involve the use of drugs, radiation therapy, surgery or other treatment methods. Treatments are only brought to clinical trials after significant prior research shows they have promise. These trials are carefully conducted by doctors and trained teams to ensure that patients receive the best possible treatment and care.
Some people think they should consider a clinical trial only after they’ve exhausted standard treatment options. However, no matter where you are in your treatment process, there may be a clinical trial that is right for you. In fact, many trials are available for people who have just been diagnosed or who have earlystage lung cancer.
People are also sometimes concerned that if they participate in a clinical trial they might only get a “sugar pill” (placebo) and not get any treatment at all. In fact, all patients participating in cancer clinical trials receive the best cancer treatment currently known for their type and stage of cancer. If placebos (non-active pills, injections, 37 etc.) are used, patients usually receive them in addition to standard, proven treatments. Placebos may also be used when testing a new treatment for a particular type or stage of disease for which no standard treatments are available, but this is uncommon in cancer clinical trials. If a placebo will be used in a trial, patients are fully informed.
Clinical trials are a critical step in the process of getting new treatment options approved for care. By participating in a clinical trial, you’ll be helping researchers and doctors make lifesaving treatments available to more people like you. To talk with someone who has been through a clinical trial, call the Cancer Hope Network at 1-800-552-4366 or fill out this form to get matched with a lung cancer survivor.
Free to Breathe has partnered with Antidote to offer people with lung cancer a way to take action and be aware of all your treatment options. This free, confidential, personalized service helps you understand which lung cancer clinical trials may be an option for you.
Learn what clinical trials are and how to access them from expert Dr. Antoinette Wozniak of Karmanos Cancer Institute. She talks about the misconceptions about clinical trials and shares resources available to patients.
Advocate and survivor Anne Marie Cerato of Lung Cancer Canada, also share her own personal experiences with a clinical trial.
This information is not designed to be a substitute for medical advice provided by your treatment team.
Last updated 12/2016
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