You may qualify for a treatment being developed right now
New potential ways to treat cancer are being developed and evaluated all over Georgia.
These are called clinical trials, and you may be eligible for one of them.
So, give this some thought when planning your cancer treatment. Talk to your doctor and/or nurse navigator.
If you’d like to find a potential new treatment – in Georgia – that could be a match for your cancer diagnosis, you can:
What are treatment clinical trials?
They’re carefully planned ways evaluate new treatments for cancer and side effects.
These potential treatments have undergone years of development and study before being given to people in a trial.
Treatment clinical trials are among the final steps before a new drug or procedure is officially approved for wider use. They’re needed to understand how effective and safe a new treatment is. Every therapy available today first had to be evaluated in clinical trials before being used.
It’s possible that a drug or procedure in a clinical trial may be more effective than an existing treatment. And for cancer diagnoses that have few treatment options, a clinical trial can offer new hope.
How do you know if a clinical trial is safe?
Agreeing to try a potential new treatment does bring some risk. But those who plan and conduct clinical trials work hard to lower this risk as much as possible.
They put many safeguards in place to guide the trial. Here are some examples:
- Each clinical trial is overseen by a group of experts (Institutional Review Board) who makes sure the trial is designed as it should be, safely and fairly. This board protects those who choose to join a trial.
- A process called “informed consent” ensures that your trial is clearly explained to you, and that your questions are answered. The goal is for you to be fully informed.
- Three federal agencies (FDA, HHS and NIH) all play roles in making rules for clinical trials. The National Cancer Institute, part of NIH, has its own Review Board.
You are free to leave a clinical trial anytime you want – you are not required to complete it.
Where are the treatment clinical trials in Georgia?
Our state offers many potential new treatments for cancer through clinical trials.
Most are at larger hospitals and healthcare centers in Augusta, Atlanta, Albany, Macon and Savannah. But more and more are being offered in other places, in all parts of Georgia. Here’s a helpful search tool >
Some of the language to describe these potential new treatments is very technical. But there’s help in finding clinical trials that could be a good match for your cancer diagnosis:
- You can email a cancer clinical trial navigator who will talk with you and help you with your search.
- Your doctor or nurse navigator assigned to you can also be a good resource. Just ask them: How can I identify cancer clinical trials in Georgia that may be my best treatment option?
What are some questions you should ask when talking with someone about a possible clinical trial?
- Am I eligible for this clinical trial?
- How could I personally benefit from the trial? How do these benefits compare to those of other treatment options?
- What are the potential risks and how do they compare to risks from other treatment options?
- Will I be able to see my own doctor during the trial? Who will be in charge of my care?
- Who will monitor my care and safety during the clinical trial? Who reviews the information collected?
- Will I be hospitalized? If so, how often and for how long?
- How often will I need to visit a physician's office?
- How long is the trial compared to the standard treatment for my cancer diagnosis?
- How will the trial and its possible side effects affect my daily life? Are there treatments to help alleviate side effects?
- What support will be available for me and my caregivers during the trial?
- What are the trial's tests and treatments?
- What type of time commitment is involved with this clinical trial?
- Will my insurance company, Medicaid or managed care plan cover these costs? Who will help me answer this question? What are my out-of-pocket costs and responsibilities?
- What is the long-term follow-up care? Who provides this care?
Source: National Cancer Institute PDQ Database.
Where can I find trusted information about potential new treatments offered through clinical trials?
The web has a lot of information – and misinformation – about cancer clinical trials.
These three websites have information that has been thoughtfully developed (and thoroughly reviewed):
Aside from treatment clinical trials – what other kinds are there?
The National Cancer Institute offers this (excellent) answer:
Prevention trials -- Studies that look at ways to prevent cancer.
In most prevention trials, the people who take part do not have cancer but are at high risk for developing it. Or they have had cancer and are at high risk for developing a new cancer.
Researchers who conduct these studies want to know:
- How safe is the drug or activity?
- Does the new approach reduce the chance that someone will get cancer?
Cancer Screening Trials -- Studies that test ways to find cancer before it causes symptoms, when it may be easier to treat.
An effective screening test will reduce the number of people who die from the cancer that is being screened for.
Researchers who conduct cancer screening studies want to know:
- Does finding disease earlier, before people have any symptoms, save lives?
- Is one screening test better than another?
- Do the benefits of the screening test outweigh the harms?
Supportive Care Trials -- Studies that explore ways to improve the quality of life for people with cancer, especially those who have side effects from cancer and its treatment.
These trials might test drugs, such as those that help with depression or nausea. Or they might test activities, such as attending support groups, exercising, or talking with a counselor.
Researchers who conduct these studies want to know:
- How does cancer and its treatment affect patients and their loved ones?
- What can improve the comfort and quality of life of people who have cancer?
Last Updated: 2/13/2024 11:43:18 AM