Types of Clinical Trials

  • Prevention Trials prevent a condition before it occurs.
  • Diagnostic/Screening Trials find new ways to detect or monitor a condition before symptoms develop; a good idea for people at high risk for conditions that run in families (ie, prostate cancer, male patients with sons > 40 years old).
  • Treatment Trials make up the majority of clinical trials. These new approaches to treatments can be:
    • New forms or combinations of surgery
    • Radiation therapy
    • Chemotherapy or other drugs (new drugs or currently approved drugs used at different doses, times, or in combination with other drugs)
    • New areas of cancer treatments (vaccines, gene therapy)
  • Psychological Supportive Care Trials find ways to improve comfort and enhance quality of life for patients (live better, not necessarily longer).