Clinical trials

Clinical cancer trials are cancer research studies that involve people. Their main purpose is to find a better way to prevent, diagnose or treat cancer, as part of a long, careful research process.

There are various types of clinical trials:

  • Therapeutic trials - test new drugs, surgery techniques, radiation therapy procedures, and other treatment methods, on people with specific types and stages of cancer
  • Prevention trials - study how healthy people may prevent cancer. People at high risk of getting cancer may benefit from participating in a prevention trial
  • Early-detection/screening trials - discover ways to find early-stage cancer
  • Diagnostic trials - find new and better ways to determine if someone has cancer – and if they have, where the cancer is located in the body; how much cancer is there; and whether or not it has spread to other parts of the body
  • Quality of life/supportive care trials - seek to improve the comfort and quality of life of patients and their families or caregivers.