Treatment and Clinical Trials
"Cancer" is not a single disease with a one-size-fits-all approach to treatment. If possible, it’s important to be treated at a cancer center or medical center that specializes in treating the type of cancer you have. Adolescents or young adults with certain kinds of cancer may do better if treated with regimens tailored to younger children rather than those designed for older adults. Talk with your doctor about getting a second opinion and whether being treated on a clinical trial is a possibility.
Clinical trials are an important treatment option for cancer patients of all ages since they provide the most up-to-date treatments. Currently, only about 2 percent of patients 20 to 39 years old are treated in clinical trials, compared with more than 60 percent of children under the age of 15. Survival rates for pediatric cancer have increased dramatically in the last few decades. Participation of more adolescents and young adults in clinical trials will help improve treatment, survival, and understanding of the types of cancers that occur in patients in this age group.
Learn about different types of treatment and about clinical trials that may be an option for you.
Biology of Cancers in Young Adults
- Uncovering the Biology of Cancers in Adolescents and Young Adults
Do cancers in teens and young adults have unique features?
- Types of Treatment
Information on chemotherapy, radiation therapy, targeted therapies, and other cancer treatment methods.
- PDQ® Cancer Information Summaries: Adult Treatment
Treatment options for adult cancers.
- PDQ® Cancer Information Summaries: Pediatric Treatment
Treatment options for childhood cancers.
- Care for Children and Adolescents with Cancer
A fact sheet about children's cancer centers and health care approaches, including clinical trials for children with cancer.
- Late Effects of Treatment for Childhood Cancer (PDQ®)
[ patient ] [ health professional ]
Expert-reviewed information summary about the health problems that continue or appear after cancer treatment has ended.
- Clinical Trials Offer a Path to Better Care for AYAs with Cancer
Researchers and navigators aim to boost AYA clinical trial enrollment to improve outcomes.
- Overcoming Age Limits in Cancer Clinical Trials
Learn about the factors that influence the participation of adolescents and young adults in cancer clinical trials. (from the May 18, 2010, NCI Cancer Bulletin)
- Improving the Treatment of Patients with Ewing Sarcoma: A Conversation with Dr. Mason Bond
Dr. Bond, a pediatric oncologist, encourages adolescents and young adults to get into clinical trials such as the one he leads for the treatment of Ewing sarcoma. (from the November 29, 2011, NCI Cancer Bulletin)
- Cancer Clinical Trials
A fact sheet that describes types of clinical trials, who sponsors them, how they are conducted, how participants are protected, and who pays for the patient care costs associated with a clinical trial.
- How to Find a Cancer Treatment Trial: A 10-Step Guide
This guide will help you to learn about cancer treatment trials that are of potential benefit to you and to decide whether to participate in a particular trial.
- Search for Clinical Trials
NCI's List of Cancer Clinical Trials.
- Paying for Clinical Trials
Information about who is expected to pay for what in a cancer clinical trial, as well as tips for working with insurance companies.
- States Requiring Coverage of Clinical Trial Costs
A searchable list and map of U.S. states that require health plans to pay for the patient care costs associated with clinical trials. Key provisions are summarized.
- So Others May Benefit: Young Cancer Patients and Survivors Take Part in Oncofertility Research
Young cancer patients and survivors enroll in fertility studies after learning about options through social media and a network of fertility clinics. (from the June 26, 2012, NCI Cancer Bulletin)
- Preserving Fertility While Battling Cancer
Information about the potential impact of cancer treatment on the fertility of cancer patients and ways to address issues related to fertility preservation decisions. (from the January 11, 2011, NCI Cancer Bulletin)
- Sexuality and Reproductive Issues (PDQ®)
[ patient ] [ health professional ]
Expert-reviewed information summary about factors that may affect sexual functioning in people with cancer. Fertility issues related to cancer treatment are also discussed.
- Sexuality and Reproductive Issues
Check for clinical trials about cancer treatment-related sexual function problems and treatment-related reproductive issues such as infertility.
Find a Doctor or Treatment Facility
- How To Find a Doctor or Treatment Facility If You Have Cancer
A fact sheet that offers suggestions for choosing a physician and facility for cancer treatment.
- Teen Cancer Centers: A Conversation with The Who's Roger Daltrey
Learn about the benefits for teens with cancer if they receive treatment at centers designed to meet their needs, and see one rock star's role in supporting these centers. (from the March 6, 2012, NCI Cancer Bulletin)
- NCI-Designated Cancer Centers
NCI-Designated Cancer Centers develop and translate scientific knowledge from promising laboratory discoveries into new treatments for cancer patients. They are at the forefront of NCI-supported efforts at universities and cancer research centers across the United States. Find a center near you and learn about their research capabilities and patient services.
Complementary and Alternative Medicine
- Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Healing philosophies, approaches, and therapies used in complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) in cancer care.