Clinical Trials

Why Are Clinical Trials Important?

Clinical trials are the best way for doctors to learn better methods to treat pancreatic cancer. Sometimes they may be the only way patients can get newer treatments.

Clinical trials are needed to:

  • Help develop new therapies
  • Better understand pancreatic cancer
  • Learn more about how to treat pancreatic cancer

To learn more about clinical trials for pancreatic cancers, visit cancer.net, the website of the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO).

Read more at cancer.net This link is to a third-party website.

To watch a video about the importance of participating in a clinical trial from a patient’s perspective, visit pancan.org, the website of the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network.

How Clinical Trials Work

Patients volunteer to take part in clinical trials. They learn about the details of a specific clinical trial, so they can decide whether to join it, through a process of informed consent.

Clinical trials are designed to answer 2 basic questions:

  • Is the new treatment safe for humans?
  • Does the new treatment provide benefit to patients?

A clinical trial is classified as 1 of 3 phases. Each phase has a different goal.

Phase Typical Goal
1 Tests a new therapy in a small group of patients to find a safe dose and see how the treatment affects the human body.
2 Tests how well a new therapy or combination of therapies works for a specific type of cancer when given to a larger number of patients
3 Compares the new therapy to the standard therapy. These are randomized, meaning patients are put in a treatment group by chance.

A new drug or treatment must start with a phase 1 clinical trial.

To learn more about the phases of clinical trials, visit cancer.gov, the website of the National Cancer Institute.

Read more at cancer.gov This link is to a third-party website.

To watch a video about clinical trial processes, informed consent, and phases, visit pancan.org, the website of the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network.

Watch video at pancan.org This link is to a third-party website.

How to Find Pancreatic Cancer Clinical Trials

A variety of online sources are available to help you and your healthcare team find a clinical trial appropriate for you.

For some search tools to find pancreatic cancer clinical trials, visit clinicaltrials.pancan.org, the website of the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network. You can also visit centerwatch.com, the website of CenterWatch, and you can visit cancer.gov, the website of the National Cancer Institute for more information.

Read more at clinicaltrials.pancan.org This link is to a third-party website.

Read more at clinicaltrials.gov This link is to a third-party website.

Read more at centerwatch.com This link is to a third-party website.

Clinical Trials, Costs, and Payments

One thing to consider when deciding whether to take part in a clinical trial is cost. Some services may be paid for by the trial’s sponsor and others by the patient’s health insurance. It’s a good idea to figure out who is paying for what beforehand.

For a discussion of these issues, visit cancer.gov, the website of the National Cancer Institute.

Glossary of Cancer Research Statistic Terms

While researching clinical trials, you may come across or hear a variety of unfamiliar cancer research statistics terms.

To learn more about cancer research statistics terms, visit cancer.net, the website of the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO)