Taking Part in Cancer Research
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.
Research already has led to advances in treatment, such as stem cell transplants. And doctors continue to look for better ways to treat myeloma.
Researchers are testing new drugs and drug combinations. They are also testing ways to improve stem cell transplants for people with multiple myeloma.
Even if people in a trial do not benefit directly, they still make an important contribution by helping doctors learn more about myeloma 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 myeloma. Information specialists at 1-800-4-CANCER and at LiveHelp can answer questions and provide information about clinical trials.