Introduction to Clinical Trials

A clinical trial is a research study designed to test the safety and effectiveness of new treatments for cancer. Every cancer-fighting drug and therapy available to doctors today had to be tested in a clinical trial before it could be used routinely on patients.

Partnering for a Cure

Being diagnosed with cancer is a life-changing experience. But thanks to advances in biomedical research, cancer patients today have more reasons to hope for a positive outcome than ever before. Doctors have an arsenal of drugs, chemotherapies, radiation therapies and other treatments that can either cure or delay for many years the progression of most types of cancer.

Unfortunately, these therapies aren't perfect and they don't work for everyone. Cancer is still the second-leading cause of death in the United States, killing nearly 560,000 Americans every year. (Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention).

Research scientists at the U-M Comprehensive Cancer Center are working hard every day to find new, more effective drugs and therapies to fight cancer. But they cannot do it alone.

To succeed, researchers need more people willing to volunteer for a clinical trial to determine how well these potential cancer treatments work. Today, there's a nationwide shortage of research volunteers and it is slowing progress in the fight against cancer.

A clinical trial is a research study designed to test the safety and effectiveness of new treatments for cancer. Every cancer-fighting drug and therapy available to doctors today had to be tested in a clinical trial before it could be used routinely on patients.

There are a lot of myths and misperceptions about what it's like to be part of a clinical trial. Volunteering does not make you a guinea pig; it makes you a partner in the discovery process. If you have cancer, it's a way to make an important contribution to the future of medicine that only you can make.

Kenneth J. Pienta, M.D., professor of urology and internal medicine, discusses why patient participation in clinical trials is vital. He also discusses some of the reasons why patients may decide not participate in a clinical trial.

To make an informed decision, you need to know the facts. Explore these links and videos to learn more about what's involved in being a clinical trial volunteer, and where to find information about clinical trials that may be right for you.

Volunteering for a clinical trial is a contribution to the future of medicine that only you can make.

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