The Niagara Health Oncology Program participates in phase II, III, and IV clinical trials. We are members of the Canadian Cancer Trials Group (CCTG) and Ontario Clinical Oncology Group (OCOG) and work closely with a number of industry partners. There are several studies actively recruiting patients at any time and many more that continue to collect information on patients previously enrolled in studies.
Clinical trials have led to many new advances in health care research.
If you or someone you care about has been diagnosed with a disease, understanding your treatment options is an important first step. Many patients and their families don’t know that a clinical trial may be a treatment option for them. Clinical trials offer early access to promising new treatments that are not yet widely available to the public.
By participating in a clinical trial, you could be among the first to benefit from the newest treatments available. Clinical trials can be a chance to be more involved in your health care, helping you feel more control and in charge of your situation.
Another important reason that patients get involved in clinical trials is to help new research. Through clinical trials, doctors and scientists have developed better approaches to surgery, better treatment options and new drugs with fewer side effects. As a result, many patients are living longer and enjoying a better quality of life.
A clinical trial is a scientific study to look for new ways to prevent, diagnose or treat diseases. Clinical trials are federally regulated and closely monitored to ensure the safety of participants. If you decide to enroll in a clinical trial, you may not receive the newer treatment being tested but you will receive the best available standard treatment.
Clinical trials are not just for people who have not responded to other therapies. There are clinical trials that test new treatments, focus on ways to control the side effects of treatments, and some look at ways to prevent illness. A clinical trial isn’t suitable for everyone. There may not be a clinical trial for your type of disease or your situation may not fit the study.
Clinical trials usually take place in the same place you are getting care, a team of doctors, nurses and other health professionals follows each patient closely. Patients are free to leave the study at any time.
There are many benefits to being part of a clinical trial but there are risks too. Not all study treatments will turn out to be better or even as good as the best available standard care. There may also be unknown side effects with the new treatment. And being in a clinical trial may be time-consuming, requiring more trips to the study site, more tests and extra medications.
Knowing all of your options is an important part of making the best decision for you. You should talk to your doctor about whether a clinical trial might be right for you. You need a referral from your doctor to be in any clinical trial. To find out more about clinical trials and what is available to you, speak to your doctor and research your options on the internet.