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Clinical trials are research studies that test new ways to prevent, detect, treat or manage cancer or other diseases. Most research starts in a lab. The next step may involve animals, such as mice. If the results still look promising, then a clinical trial with people can begin.
Clinical trials add to the progress that is being made against cancer in many ways: A clinical trial can answer important questions about the best treatment for a type of cancer. Some trials pose scientific questions that help us understand cancer better or understand what works best for people with the disease. Clinical trials lead to future research.
The treatment recommended for the cancer you have today was first developed and tested in clinical trials.
They are something you volunteer to do, not something you have to do.
Find a clinical trial
For a current list of clinical trials, try the following websites:
Canadian Cancer Trials
(Clinical trials in all Canadian provinces)
National Cancer Institute
(Clinical trials in Canada, United States and around the world)
Clinical trials websites are often developed for researchers. If you find it hard to understand the medical language used, your doctor should be able to help. You may also want to ask your doctor about trials that are funded privately or trials funded by drug companies – these trials may not be listed on these websites.
If you do not have access to the Internet or have questions about clinical trials currently being conducted in Canada, contact our Cancer Information Service toll-free at 1- 888-939-3333.
Great progress has been made
Some cancers, such as thyroid and testicular, have survival rates of over 90%. Other cancers, such as pancreatic, brain and esophageal, continue to have very low survival rates.