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Clinical Trials

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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 Infographic


 

What is a clinical trial?

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.

Potential benefits of clinical trials

  • Many patients find that clinical trials offer them excellent treatment options and care. Patients report they get more attention and more frequent check-ups during their clinical trial experience.All patients participating in cancer clinical trials receive the best cancer treatment currently known for their type and stage of cancer.
  • Patients participating in cancer clinical trials may have the opportunity to receive cutting-edge cancer treatments that have shown promise in early research.
  • Many newer treatments are only available through clinical trials.
  • By taking an active role in their care, clinical trial participants often feel empowered. 
  • When you participate in a clinical trial, you’re investing in the future of cancer therapy for those who are diagnosed after you. 

Important issues to keep in mind

  • Your clinical trial options will be based on your particular type and stage of lung cancer and your overall health. To determine which clinical trials are appropriate for you, talk to your doctor.
  • All clinical trial participants are volunteers who can stop at any time they choose, for any reason, and return to the standard treatment.
  • As with any cancer treatment option, there are potential risks and benefits to clinical trials. Be sure to discuss these with your doctor or the clinical trial coordinator as you make decisions. 
  • Many safeguards are put into place to protect patients involved in trials. All clinical trials are reviewed and followed by outside experts to make sure the patients’ health and well-being are looked after. 
  • If you volunteer for a clinical trial, you may have additional office visits, tests, or procedures. Be sure you understand what is involved with a trial as you make your decision.
  • Your insurance and/or the trial itself will usually pay for your care in a clinical trial. Your doctor’s office should be able to help you contact your insurance company before you start a clinical trial, and deal with any insurance issues. 

Read more: Questions to ask your doctor about clinical trials.

Find a clinical trial

Free to Breathe has partnered with EmergingMed as part of the Lung Cancer Clinical Trials Call to Action 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.

The Clinical Trials Matching Service will help you quickly search for clinical trials that match your specific diagnosis and treatment history. We recommend that you search for clinical trial options before you begin your first treatment and again at any time you are faced with a new treatment decision. The service is free and completely confidential.

Visit the EmergingMed website or call 1-800-698-0931 for more information or to set up a profile and be matched to appropriate clinical trials in your area.


Clinical Trials FlyerOur half-page clinical trials flyer can help your patients or members of your community understand the benefits of clinical trials, and find a trial that's right for them.

Download (PDF) >
Order free print copies online >

 

 

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 7/2015

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