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Learn About Clinical Trials

  • Posted: 09/01/2011

What Are Clinical Trials?

Clinical trials are research studies that involve people. They are the final step in a long process that begins with research in a lab and animal testing. Many treatments used today are the result of past clinical trials.

In cancer, clinical trials are designed to answer questions about new ways to:

  • Treat cancer
  • Find and diagnose cancer
  • Prevent cancer
  • Manage symptoms of cancer or side effects from its treatment

This booklet focuses on cancer treatment studies. These studies are designed to answer questions about new treatments or ways of using an existing treatment better. These trials test many types of treatments, such as new:

  • Drugs or vaccines
  • Ways to do surgery or give radiation therapy
  • Combinations of treatments
Many treatments used today are the results of past clinical trials.