Clinical trials assess the efficacy and safety of novel cancer treatment strategies, including those utilizing cutting-edge medical technology, novel drug development, or novel applications of currently available cancer therapies. Before receiving Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulatory approval, new therapies frequently undergo years of research. While the studies are running their course, they frequently give participating patients new options that they might not have had before, particularly if they have used all of the standard cancer treatments.
What is a clinical trial?
Before receiving regulatory clearance, medications, healthcare products, medical devices, and other therapies must undergo extensive testing in clinical trials. Phase 0, Phase I, Phase II, Phase III, and Phase IV are the phases used to categorize human subject trials, with each phase bringing the treatment closer to meeting regulatory standards. Generally speaking, researchers investigate if the therapies:
- Are effective in treating cancer
- Work better than existing therapies used to treat a particular cancer
- Are safe for patients
- Cause serious side effects
These trials may look at novel chemotherapeutic agents, surgical techniques, or radiation therapy innovations. The effectiveness of a novel or existing treatment in conjunction with others may be investigated by others. Precision treatment possibilities are one of the most fascinating topics in cancer research. The goal of the new generation of precision medications is often to give less harmful, more tailored treatments. Today's precision-focused trials typically investigate novel treatments that have not yet hit the market or different applications for medicines that are already on the market, for instance to see if they can be used to treat different types of cancer.
Do I qualify?
The eligibility requirements range from study to study due to the unique nature of clinical research studies. Trial qualifications may restrict enrollment to individuals with a specific cancer type or subtype, a specific genetic mutation, a defined age range, or a specific disease stage. Many clinical trials include patients who have tried all available conventional treatments or who are no longer responding to them. Not every patient qualifies for the clinical trials that are offered. The NJHOA care team will help determine if you meet the requirements for an ongoing trial.