Clinical Trials

Clinical research is medical research involving people. Clinical trials are research studies performed with people that are aimed at evaluating a medical, surgical, or behavioral intervention. They are the primary way that researchers find out if a new treatment, like a new drug is safe and effective in people. Often a clinical trial is used to learn if a new treatment is more effective and/or has less harmful side effects than the standard treatment.

What is a Clinical Trial?

A clinical trial is an efficient and ethical manner for a patient to access a medicine prior to it being approved by regulatory authorities.  Patients who choose to participate in clinical trials play a critical role in developing new medicines. Clinical trials incorporate regular safety monitoring, and create a venue to explain potential risks of the investigational therapy. Clinical trials also have the ability to establish clinical benefit for the investigational therapy, and this may lead to the investigational therapy becoming an approved drug capable of offering benefit others. 

Clinical trials have to be approved before they start and are carefully designed, reviewed and completed. It is an application of a scientific method designed to test hypotheses and monitor and assess outcomes.

Why Should I consider a Clinical Trial?

Most treatments and therapies for metastatic breast cancer have been developed over the past 20 years. That may seem like a long time but it really isn’t. There are still limited lines of treatment for metastatic breast cancer and for some types, there are only two or three. Sometimes a clinical trial can be a great first option, so you are trying the newest treatment or therapy for your disease type.  

You should always weigh the pros and cons of any treatment or intervention. 

Clinical trials Increase knowledge about metastatic breast cancer.   Clinical research helps increase knowledge in terms of how metastatic breast cancer needs to be approached and treated. The information gathered from clinical trials adds value to scientific knowledge. This is important to upgrade medical care and make it more accessible. 

Clinical trials are hugely beneficial to the field of science. They test how well new interventions and approaches work in the participants which leads to new scientific discoveries. Each trial is an attempt to answer scientific questions. As a result, it contributes to the discovery of new medicine and treatment guidelines. The drug, vaccine or any other intervention could be more effective than the standard approach

Clinical trials can also be risky for people who participate. New vaccines, drugs, supplements that are under study may not necessarily be better than the standard procedure. Sometimes, the side effects of the drug administered to participants can become fatal. Randomized clinical trials are subject to risks as patients do not know what interventions they will receive. Healthcare insurance providers also do not cover costs for these trials. Therefore, participants have to make an informed choice before selecting a clinical trial.

Costs for clinical trials can be expensive and usually range in billions per drug. While planning the research, factors like protocol design, site selection and execution of the trial have to be considered. Usually, there is not a cost to the patient, however, there may be expenses such as travel and lodging if a trial is not located at your cancer center.