Taking Part in Cancer Research
Doctors all over the world are conducting many types of clinical trials (research studies in which people volunteer to take part). Clinical trials are designed to find out whether new treatments are safe and effective.
Even if the people in a trial do not benefit directly from a treatment, they may still make an important contribution by helping doctors learn more about uterine cancer and how to control it. Although clinical trials may pose some risks, doctors do all they can to protect their patients.
Doctors are studying new ways to use surgery, chemotherapy, radiation therapy, and hormone therapy for treatment of uterine cancer.
NCI is sponsoring many studies with women who have uterine cancer:
- Surgery: Doctors are studying whether lymphedema develops after a woman has one of three types of surgery to remove the uterus and nearby lymph nodes:
- The surgeon makes a large incision to remove the uterus and lymph nodes.
- The surgeon makes small incisions for a laparoscope. A laparoscope is a thin, lighted tube with a lens for viewing. The surgeon uses a tool on the laparoscope to remove the uterus and lymph nodes (laparoscopic surgery).
- The surgeon removes the uterus through the vagina and makes small incisions so that a laparoscope may be used to remove the lymph nodes.
- Radiation therapy and chemotherapy:
- For women who have had surgery, doctors are comparing the effectiveness of external beam radiation therapy with that of brachytherapy followed by chemotherapy.
- Doctors are comparing chemotherapy alone with the combination of chemotherapy, external beam radiation therapy, and brachytherapy.
If you’re 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. 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 uterine cancer.Also, NCI’s Cancer Information Service can provide information about clinical trials. Call 1–800–4–CANCER (1–800–422–6237). Or chat using LiveHelp, NCI’s instant messaging service.