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What is a Clinical Trial?

A clinical trial is a research study that involves people and tests new ways to prevent, detect, diagnose, or treat cancer and other diseases. Those who participate in clinical trials have the opportunity to contribute to scientists’ knowledge about treating diseases and conditions and helps in the development of improved treatments. They also receive state-of-the-art care from experts.

Phases of a Clinical Trial
A clinical trial is divided into the following phases:

Phase I Researchers test a new drug or treatment in a small group of people for the first time to evaluate its safety, determine a safe dosage range, and identify side effects.
Phase II                The drug or treatment is given to a larger group of people to see if it is effective and to further evaluate its safety.
Phase III The drug or treatment is given to large groups of people to confirm its effectiveness, monitor side effects, compare it to commonly used treatments, and collect information that will allow the drug or treatment to be used safely.
Phase IV Studies are done after the drug or treatment has been marketed to gather information on the drug's effect in various populations and any side effects associated with long-term use.


Types of Clinical Trials

Treatment These trials test the effectiveness of current treatments or new treatments; combinations of treatment types may also be tested.
Prevention These trials test the effectiveness of current treatments or new treatments; combinations of treatment types may also be tested.
Screening These trials study new tests and procedures to assist in identifying and diagnosing conditions more accurately.
Diagnostic These trials study new tests and procedures to assist in identifying and diagnosing conditions more accurately.

Quality of Life/ Supportive Care

These trials focus on the comfort and quality of life of patients with certain conditions and often look for new ways to decrease the severity of side effects of ailments and their treatments.

Length of Clinical Trials
The length of a clinical study varies, depending on what is being studied. Participants are told how long the study will last before enrolling. Ask your research coordinator for more information on the length of the study.


 





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