Taking Part in Cancer Research
Cancer research has led to real progress in leukemia treatment. Because of research, adults and children with leukemia can look forward to a better quality of life and less chance of dying from the disease. Continuing research offers hope that, in the future, even more people with this disease will be treated successfully.
Doctors all over the country are conducting many types of clinical trials (research studies in which people volunteer to take part). Clinical trials are designed to answer important questions and to find out whether new approaches are safe and effective.
Doctors are studying methods of new and better ways to treat leukemia, and ways to improve quality of life. They are testing new targeted therapy, biological therapy, and chemotherapy. They also are working with various combinations of treatments.
Even if people in a trial do not benefit directly, they still make an important contribution by helping doctors learn more about leukemia and how to control it. Although clinical trials may pose some risks, doctors do all they can to protect their patients.
If you are interested in being part of a clinical trial, talk with your doctor. You may want to read the NCI booklet Taking Part in Cancer Treatment Research Studies. This booklet describes how treatment studies are carried out and explains their possible benefits and risks.
NCI's Web site includes a section on clinical trials at http://www.cancer.gov/clinicaltrials. It has general information about clinical trials as well as detailed information about specific ongoing studies of leukemia. Information specialists at 1-800-4-CANCER or at LiveHelp can answer questions and provide information about clinical trials.