There are many times that you might consider participating in a clinical trial. Your doctor might suggest one. You might be beginning therapy for colorectal cancer or entering a new aspect of your treatment. You might have exhausted all standard therapies and want to find additional possibilities.
Before you begin, gather some information. You want to know your cancer diagnosis, stage and location, what treatments you have already had, and whether or not you have other medical problems to consider. How far from home are you willing to travel? The National Cancer Institute provides a handy checklist of information about your diagnosis and tips for getting the information.
How can I find a clinical trial?
- Talk to your doctor. Ask if there are appropriate trials for you available in the office where you are currently being treated or if you can be referred to a trial somewhere else.
- Use a basic search at from the National Cancer Institute to find a trial for your type and stage of cancer within a reasonable distance of your home zip code.
- If you are interested in a particular drug, hospital, or other special information you can use the NCI Advanced Search to explore more specific options for a trial. NCI provides help for both basic searches and advanced searches.
- Check with C3’s Answer Line for free and confidential clinical trial matching.
While almost all Phase II and III trials are listed with the National Cancer Institute’s PDQ, some early Phase I trials are not. If you’ve exhausted all the standard treatment options, you may want to look at the web sites of individual cancer centers to explore what clinical trials are available there.
A list of NCI-designated cancer centers and comprehensive cancer centers can be sorted by name or state. The National Comprehensive Cancer Network member institutions also are excellent resources for cutting-edge research studies.
Clinical Trials at NIH
The National Cancer Institute conducts cancer clinical trials at the National Institute of Health Clinical Center in Bethesda, Maryland. There is no charge for patients participating in clinical trials at NIH Bethesda and some travel and housing costs are provided.
Where Can You Go for More Information
The National Cancer Institute provides an excellent How to Find a Cancer Treatment Trial: A Ten-Step Guide which has both information and links to specific details that can help you through the process of preparing to look for a trial, searching for a trial, and contacting the trial to consider enrolling.