Clinical Trials


It’s always a good idea to talk with your healthcare team to learn if you’re eligible for any clinical trials. Clinical trials test new treatments for colorectal or other cancers – this can include drug therapy, surgery, radiation, and combination procedures.

There are also clinical trials that test new ways to stop cancer from recurring or reduce the side effects of cancer treatment.

All treatments go through the clinical trial process before the Federal Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approves them for public use. These studies are designed to protect participants while producing data to show whether or not an experimental treatment is safe and effective.

Most often patients participate in clinical trials because they hope a new treatment will benefit them, or they want to contribute to the future of medicine and help find cures. Most clinical trials require a patient to qualify or be eligible to participate, based on specific medical criteria.

If you’re interested in a clinical trial, you will be provided with very clear information about the study before you decide to participate. Your treatment team will closely monitor you. You’ll report how you’re doing throughout the trial and have the option to drop-out at any time.

Ask your treatment team if you would qualify for any available clinical trials.

Questions to ask regarding clinical trials

  • Am I eligible for a clinical trial? If yes, do you feel that would be a good choice for me?
  • How do the possible risks and benefits of the new treatment compare with my other treatment options?
  • Are there extra procedures or visits in the trial compared with standard care?
  • Who will pay for what in the trial?
  • What is the standard treatment for someone in my situation? What do you recommend?
  • What will my treatment schedule look like?
  • What are the short- and long-term side effects of the treatment you are recommending?
  • How will my health be monitored during treatment?

Finding Clinical Trials

Visit Fight Colorectal Cancer’s Clinical Trials Matching Service, or call 866-278-0392. This website aims to list all available trials for colorectal cancer, offering search features to find relevant and specific offerings.

The National Institutes of Health Clinical Trials Matching Service: All phase III and most phase II trials are required by the FDA to be listed in this website, including all government-sponsored trials and most industry and university-sponsored trials. For specific results, refine your search by location, the type of trial or treatment, or by a specific drug name.

Clinical Trial Phases

  • Phase I: answers the questions: how much, how safe, how often?
  • Phase II: answers the question: does the new treatment do any good?
  • Phase III: answers the question: what’s better, a new treatment or the standard treatment?

Note: Phase I trials are often not in the large databases. Look on the websites of cancer centers near you to see what they are offering, or call their oncology department.


Content medically-reviewed by members of the Fight Colorectal Cancer Medical Advisory Board, February 2014

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