Cancer research has led to real progress in the detection and treatment of brain tumors. Continuing research offers hope that in the future even more people with brain tumors will be treated successfully.
Doctors all over the country 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 approaches are safe and effective.
Doctors are trying to find better ways to care for adults and children with brain tumors. They are testing new drugs and combining drugs with radiation therapy. They are also studying how drugs may reduce the side effects of treatment.
Even if the people in a trial do not benefit directly, they may still make an important contribution by helping doctors learn more about brain tumors and how to control them. Although clinical trials may pose some risks, doctors do all they can to protect their patients.
Participating in a Clinical Trial
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.
The NCI Web site includes a section on clinical trials at http://www.cancer.gov/clinicaltrials. It has general information about clinical trials in the United States and around the world, as well as 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 (http://www.cancer.gov/livehelp) can answer questions and provide information about clinical trials.