As cancer grows in both incidence and prevalence, so, too, do new methods for its diagnosis and treatment. These ground-breaking discoveries are, in many cases, owed to the generous men, women, and children who participate in clinical trials.
If you are thinking about joining a clinical trial, know that you will be helping researchers to evaluate if new ways of treating and diagnosing cancer are better than those currently available. When those evaluated in your clinical trial are proven to be even more beneficial than existing offerings, they are adopted as the new standard to be used by doctors for the benefit of all patients.
These two government-sponsored sites provide easy access to hundreds of thousands of clinical trials that are quickly narrowed based on a variety of search criteria including disease type, location, keyword, hospital affiliation, and more.
U.S. National Library of Medicine
This online searchable database is maintained by the National Library of Medicine (NLM) at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and includes trials available worldwide. At the time of this writing, the database contains 263,257 research studies in all 50 states and in 201 countries.
You can search for clinical studies by disease, keywords, and geographical location. If you click on the Advanced Search option, you can further narrow your results by eligibility criteria like age and sex.
NCI-Supported Clinical Trials
This database includes clinical trials that are either sponsored or supported financially by the National Cancer Institute. Trials are available worldwide. You can search by cancer type, age, and zip code or use the advanced search options here https://www.cancer.gov/about-cancer/treatment/clinical-trials/advanced-search to further specify by cancer subtype, keywords, trial type, hospital, and more. If you have trouble locating a trial, you can call the NCI Clinical trial support line at 800-422-6237 or chat with a specialist online here https://www.cancer.gov/contact between the hours of 9:00 am to 9:00 pm Monday-Friday, EST.
For those who choose to participate, clinical trials offer many benefits including:
- Access to new treatments
- Access to cutting-edge medical care (often free of charge)
- Careful monitoring and follow up
- Contribution towards the advancement of healthcare
Trials help us discover new and more effective ways of preventing, detecting, and treating cancer. Ultimately, this effort helps doctors improve the quality of cancer care during and after treatment. So, when you participate in clinical trials, you are adding to the knowledge base that can improve treatment outcomes for future patients. If you have experience with a clinical trial and would like to share it with other readers, we want to hear from you! Please submit your story here.