In cancer, clinical trials are designed to answer questions about new ways to treat, prevent, find and manage symptoms and side effects of cancer.


Cancer Treatment Trials

Treatment trials are designed to answer questions about new treatments or ways of using an existing treatment better. These trials test many types of treatments, such as new:

  • Drugs or vaccines
  • Ways to do surgery or give radiation therapy
  • Combinations of treatments


Cancer Prevention Trials

Prevention trials are studies of a large group of people. A prevention trial tries to find better ways to prevent people from getting cancer or lower the chances that people will get it.

A prevention trial is different from a treatment trial. A treatment trial finds better ways to treat cancer in people who already have it.


Cancer Screening Trials

Screening trials try to find the best ways to detect cancer, especially when it is in an early stage. They are usually done with people who may be at a high risk or developing cancer. Screening trials are important as some cancers are easier to treat, and people have a better chance of survival, when they are found early.


Quality-of-Life or Supportive Care Trials

Quality-of-life trials look for ways to increase comfort and quality of life for people with cancer and cancer survivors. These trials may look at ways to prevent or manage things like fatigue or nausea.


Adapted from National Cancer Institute

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Last reviewed: 10/11/2018
Last modified: 12/11/2018 9:24 AM