Clinical Trial FAQs
What is a clinical trial?
A clinical trial is a tightly controlled scientific study to determine if a drug is safe and effective for its intended use. The trial shows if a new treatment is effective compared to existing treatments, evaluates the optimal dose, and determines possible side effects and ways to manage them.
What are the phases of a clinical trial?
Before a drug reaches a clinical trial, it goes through extensive testing in a lab. The drug’s developers then design a clinical trial, which the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approves before it begins.
Clinical trials go through four phases, with each phase adding more patients and lasting longer to determine the drug’s effectiveness and side effects. The medication or treatment must pass each stage and get approval from the FDA before proceeding to the next phase.
By the time a drug reaches the third phase, the scope of the clinical trial expands to include several hundred to several thousand patients. This phase may run for several years. Lengthening the time and enrolling more patients shows how the drug affects the general population.
If the FDA approves a drug at the end of phase III, it clears the drug to go on the market. That’s when the fourth phase begins as researchers monitor thousands of patients who now use the drug for side effects or other issues.
What benefits do I gain from joining a clinical trial?
The most urgent reason to join a clinical trial is to get access to a new cancer treatment that isn’t available on the market.
Joining a clinical trial is especially beneficial if your cancer hasn’t improved with the existing treatments or personal health issues prevent you from using a current treatment.
How do I join a cancer clinical trial?
Hunterdon Hematology Oncology, participates in many clinical trials in association with. This means you can receive the treatment at Hunterdon Hematology Oncology’s office rather than traveling to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
These are a few examples of the conditions receiving treatment in clinical trials at Hunterdon Hematology Oncology:
- Oral Mucositis in newly diagnosed Head and Neck Cancers
- Multiple Myeloma
- Polycythemia Vera
- Essential Thrombocythemia
To join a clinical trial, or to see if you qualify for a clinical trial, you only need to contact the clinical trial coordinator at Hunterdon Hematology Oncology. Call or schedule online today.