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Cancer

Understanding Cancer Clinical Trials

Cancer doctors are always looking for new ways to improve care for their patients with cancer. The best way to test new therapies for cancer is through clinical trials. Although clinical trials are critical for advancing cancer treatment and ultimately serve as the basis for new standards of care, very few patients participate.

There are many barriers that prevent patients from considering clinical trials as a treatment option. In addition to not being able to access research studies, there may be knowledge gaps and attitudes that might stop someone from considering participation in a clinical trial. Some people have never heard of clinical trials, and others are worried about the side effects that they may experience on a clinical trial or the possibility of receving a placebo.

Patients make better decisions about their treatment options if they are more prepared to learn about all of their choices—both standard therapies and treatments given as part of a clinical trial.  A recently developed online program called PRE-ACT, Preparatory Education About Clinical Trials, helps patients make better decisions.

The basic idea behind PRE-ACT is to help patients make treatment choices that are best for them. PRE-ACT gives information about clinical trials.  It is helpful when meeting with an oncologist for the first time, or after your initial visit. PRE-ACT videos provide specific information on choosing a clinical trial option.

PRE-ACT is available to anyone who has an interest in learning more about clinical trials.  It includes important information on topics such as:

If your interest is piqued, you can see the complete video library here.  The PRE-ACT program can also select videos for you, based on information you provide in an online survey.  If you'd like to tke the survey and get a personalized video library, click here (http://www.cancer.net/navigating-cancer-care/how-cancer-treated/clinical-trials/pre-act)

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Last Reviewed: Mar 27, 2015

Neal  Meropol, MD Neal Meropol, MD
School of Medicine
Case Western Reserve University