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I’m a Candidate for a Clinical Trial: What Can I Expect?

Apr 17, 2023

I’m a Candidate for a Clinical Trial: What Can I Expect?
Clinical trials open the door for possible cancer improvement with novel therapies not yet available to the public. While every clinical trial is different, there are a few commonalities to expect.

Getting a cancer diagnosis leads to lots of uncertainty regarding treatment and your ultimate outcome. While a cancer diagnosis can be extremely daunting, modern advancements in medicine have opened the door for numerous effective therapies that improve outcomes for many people with all types of cancer. 

Advanced treatments in modern medicine that are available today can thank clinical trials, a crucial step for their FDA approval, for their availability to the public. Clinical trials test a medication or treatment on human participants who actually have the cancers or other conditions the therapies profess to treat. 

The experts at Arizona Center for Cancer Care remain at the apex of state-of-the-art cancer care and allow eligible patients to participate in clinical trials of new and progressive cancer treatments. Arizona CCC has offices in Avondale, Chandler, Gilbert, Glendale, Mesa, Phoenix, Scottsdale, Surprise, Anthem, Peoria, Fountain Hills, Wickenburg, Apache Junction, Sun City, Sun City West, Goodyear, and Tempe, Arizona. 

Clinical trials: Which type are you in?

If you’ve never before participated in a clinical trial and aren’t familiar with how they work, our team can fill you in on the details of what to anticipate. Most clinical trials happen in phases. If you participate in a clinical trial, you participate in just one phase of it:

Please update as below:

Phase I 

Phase I clinical trials test a drug or treatment in order to gather information about dosing the drug. This helps providers determine how much of a drug to give to patients who need it in order for the drug to be effective with minimal side effects. 

This phase also assesses for signs that the treatment has anti-cancer activity against various cancer types. The cancer research team at Arizona Center for Cancer Care can help oncology patients find additional investigational options.

Phase II 

A clinical trial moves into phase II testing if there was evidence that the drug or treatment was effective during phase I. Phase II’s sole intention is to verify that a drug or treatment works for its intended purpose. 

Phase III

Phase III clinical trials include a control group, which gets the standard treatment for a given form of cancer, and a study group, which receives the new treatment. The goal is to see if the results of both treatments are comparable or if the new treatment results in better outcomes than the standard. 

Treatments with a positive outcome in the first three phases move on to FDA approval. Sometimes, treatments continue into phase IV testing after FDA approval to continue monitoring the treatment for its long-term effects.

Are clinical trials safe?

Before a treatment gets to the point of being offered in clinical trials, it goes through numerous levels of research by experts. This is a long process that starts with laboratory testing, not with any human subjects. After lab testing comes animal testing, though the results of treatment for animals with cancer may be vastly different than the results for human cancer. 

Yet, not everyone is a candidate to participate in clinical trials. The experts at Arizona Center for Cancer Care are selective when choosing who can participate, focusing on patients who:

  • Were diagnosed at advanced cancer stages
  • Have rare or aggressive cancers
  • Have a high risk of recurrent cancer
  • Are no longer responding to other treatments 

Every clinical trial has unique risks and benefits, and you’ll have ample opportunity to ask questions before your participation. It’s important to note that not all cancer treatments work well for every patient who receives them and that individual outcomes can vary. 

Find out which clinical trials are going on now

Arizona Center for Cancer Care welcomes you to visit and learn about the clinical trials you may be eligible for. Call the office or schedule an appointment online to find out more about current clinical trials today.