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BCO Revamped Section on Clinical Trials


Clinical trials are carefully designed research studies that depend on human volunteers to improve medical care over time.

In cancer research, pre-clinical studies first test new treatments that show promise in the lab or in animals. These treatments may ultimately be tested in clinical trials involving people.

Clinical trials are conducted to:

  • ensure a new cancer treatment is safe to use in people, and to see if it works better than the best therapy that is currently available (known as the standard of care)
  • study new ways of diagnosing cancer
  • reduce the risk of cancer developing or returning
  • manage treatment side effects
  • help people feel better during or after cancer treatment

Virtually every treatment we have today for cancer (and other diseases) was first tested in clinical trials — which is why it's so important for people to participate.

See the newly revamped Clinical Trials section to learn more about:

  • Who can consider a clinical trial?
  • Types of clinical trials
  • How clinical trials are conducted
  • How clinical trial participants' safety is protected
  • How to find out if you're eligible for a clinical trial
  • Covering the costs of clinical trials
  • Benefits and risks of clinical trial participation
  • Questions to ask before enrolling in a clinical trial
  • How to find a clinical trial
  • Glossary: Common terms used to talk about clinical trials
  • Special Report: Increasing diversity in clinical trials