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Stomach Cancer

What Are Clinical Trials?

Tuesday, April 24, 2012 - 16:10

Contributing Author: Guy Slowik FRCS

Clinical trials are used to find better and more effective ways of treating cancer patients by using the most up-to-date research in controlled tests.

Clinical trials are designed to:

  • Determine if a new approach is both safe and effective.
  • To learn more about the disease.
  • To compare different treatment therapies.
  • To find new methods to reduce treatment side effects.

One of the advantages of taking part in clinical trials is that the participants are the first to receive treatment that has shown promise in laboratory research. Prior to a clinical trial, a new treatment undergoes rigorous testing in animals and in the laboratory to ensure its safety in humans.

How Are Clinical Trials Conducted?

In clinical trials participants are generally divided into two groups. One group receives the new treatment, while the other receives the standard approach. Selection is usually done randomly, often by computer. Usually participants do not know which group they are in until after the trial.

In a very specialized type of trial called a double blind trial, neither the doctors nor the participants know who is being given the new treatment and who is receiving the standard treatment until the end of the trial.

Need To Know:

Clinical trials are ongoing in most parts of the country for most stages of cancer of the stomach. For more information call the Cancer Information Service at 1-800-4-CANCER (1-800-422-6237).

Stomach Cancer