Skip to main content
An official website of the United States government

Clinical Trials Information for Patients and Caregivers

Clinical trials are research studies that involve people. Any time you or a loved one need treatment for cancer, clinical trials are an option to think about. Learning all you can about clinical trials can help you talk with your doctor and decide what is right for you.


  • Looking for a Clinical Trial?

    Use our search form to find a trial or contact NCI for help by phone, email, or online chat. NCI-supported trials are offered at sites across the United States and Canada, including the NIH Clinical Center in Bethesda, Maryland. 

  • What Are Clinical Trials?

    Information covering the basics of cancer clinical trials, including what they are, where they take place, and the types of clinical trials. Also, explains phases, randomization, placebo, and members of the research team.

  • Paying for Clinical Trials

    Learn about the different types of costs related to taking part in a clinical trial, who is expected to pay for which costs, and tips for working with insurance companies.

  • Patient Safety in Clinical Trials

    There are federal rules in place to help protect the rights and safety of people who take part in clinical trials. Learn about informed consent, institutional review boards (IRB's), and how trials are closely monitored.

  • Deciding to Take Part in a Clinical Trial

    Like all treatment options, clinical trials have possible benefits and risks. Find information you can use when making your decision about whether taking part in a trial is right for you.

  • Questions to Ask Your Doctor about Treatment Clinical Trials

    If you are thinking about taking part in a clinical trial, be sure to ask your doctor if there is a trial you can join. If your doctor offers you a trial, here are some questions you may want to ask.

  • Selected NCI-Supported Trials

    This page describes some of the major clinical trials and studies that NCI supports to test promising cancer treatments and screening and prevention methods.

  • Clinical Trials Help Build the Future of Medicine

    Clinical trials help inform our understanding of cancer and improve prevention, diagnosis, treatment, and care. But this progress could not happen without the people who take part in and those who connect people with trials. These professionals also work to ensure that people who need them have equal access to trials, with the goal of helping all people benefit from trials and their results.