Clinical Trials

Clinical Trials

Clinical trials are treatments that are considered to be investigational in some way. Most clinical trials originate at teaching hospitals (university medical centers) and may be local (ie, Loyola, Rush, Northwestern or Univ. of Chicago) or national. Some are done independently from that university, while others are registered through the National Cancer Institute (NCI) and enroll patients from all over the country. The doctors at Hematology Oncology Consultants, Ltd. have access to most clinical trials from the NCI and sometimes, from local universities.

The cancer treatments that are used today ALL were tested by patients who enrolled in clinical trials in the past. Participating in a trial sometimes gives a patient access to new medications that are not otherwise available. Some trials will test a standard therapy that is routinely used against a new therapy to see which one is better. Others will test the same therapy administered in two or three different ways/schedules, to see if there is a difference. Equal numbers of patients are enrolled to each treatment option to determine if one is better than the other.

The decision to participate in a clinic trial is a personal one. The treatment you receive on a clinical trial will usually be selected for you randomly by a computer; neither you nor your doctor will be able to choose. However, unless there is a placebo used (not common), you will always know what you are receiving. It is important to remember that your doctor would not recommend a clinical trial for you unless he/she feels that either treatment option would be beneficial for you. Patients who enroll in clinical trials provide the future treatments of tomorrow.

Please ask your doctor if you are interested in pursuing the option of treatment on a clinical trial. For more information about clinical trials, please visit: http://www.cancer.gov/clinicaltrials/learningabout