Clinical Trials

Clinical trials are research studies that involve people and test new ways to treat cancer.  Ask your neurosurgeon about which trials might be right for you.

If a clinical trial is presented as a treatment option, explore with your doctor why he believes this trial might be of benefit.  Are there particular characteristics of your tumors that leads him to think a specific trial is the best option?

Inquire about clinical trials at other institutions and ask your neurosurgeon if he is comfortable working collaboratively with other doctors to coordinate your care.

You can research clinical trials yourself online or with the help of a nurse advocate.  The National Cancer Institute web site has a section on clinical trials and includes detailed information about specific ongoing studies of brain tumors. NCI's Information Specialists at 1-800-4-CANCER (1-800-422-6237) and at LiveHelp can answer questions and provide information about clinical trials.

Also know that once you start chemotherapy and radiation you become ineligible for a significant number of trials. So evaluate the clinical trial options before you start chemo and radiation, if you’re able to.

If researchers learn that a treatment harms you, you will be taken off the study right away. You may then receive other treatments. You have the right to leave a study at any time.[1]

How clinical trials work:

[2]

All clinical trials treatments can have different side effects depending on what treatment is being tested, so it is vital to discuss this with your doctors. Possible side effects should also be enumerated in the release that you sign to in your agreement to participate in the trial. By nature of the trial, you also may be put in the placebo group that does not receive the experimental treatment.

Nontherapeutic clinical trials involve monitoring some aspect of a patient’s health throughout the course of his or her care without adding a new investigational agent to the patient’s current treatment.[3] This could be something like a diet, for example. They can be a lower-risk way to help add to science’s body of knowledge on cancer.

[1] Johns Hopkins Patients' Guide To Brain Cancer

[2] Faster Cures: Glioblastoma Multiforme - A Giving Smarter Guide to Accelerate Research Progress

[3] Johns Hopkins Patients' Guide To Brain Cancer

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