Taking Part in Cancer Research
Doctors all over the country are studying new ways to treat lymphoma. Clinical trials (research studies in which people volunteer to take part) find out whether promising approaches to treatment are safe and effective. Research already has led to advances.Researchers are studying many types of treatments for lymphoma:
- Chemotherapy: Doctors are testing new drugs that kill cancer cells. They are working with many drugs and drug combinations. They also are looking at ways of combining drugs with other treatments, such as biological therapy.
- Radiation therapy: Doctors are testing radiation treatment alone and with chemotherapy.
- Biological therapy: New types of biological therapy are under study. For example, researchers are making cancer vaccines that may help the immune system kill lymphoma cells. Also, doctors are studying a type of biological therapy that delivers radiation directly to cancer cells.
- Stem cell transplantation: Doctors are studying stem cell transplantation in people with newly diagnosed lymphoma and those who have already been treated.
People who join clinical trials may be among the first to benefit if a new approach is effective. And even if participants do not benefit directly, they still help doctors learn more about lymphoma and how to control it. Although clinical trials may pose some risks, researchers do all they can to protect their patients.
If you are interested in being part of a clinical trial, you should talk with your doctor. You may want to read the NCI booklet Taking Part in Cancer Treatment Research Studies. It 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 non-Hodgkin lymphoma. Information specialists at 1-800-4-CANCER and at LiveHelp can answer questions and provide information about clinical trials.