Cancer clinical trials help to determine if a treatment, drug, or procedure allows for a better way of treating a particular cancer, or provides a new way of treating a condition for which there wasn't a treatment before.
What are the phases of clinical trials and what do they mean?
- Phase I
- Phase I trials answer the following questions: Is the drug safe? What is a safe dose? What are the side effects? Apart from safety, phase I trials also allow researchers to study how the drug will act in the body and whether or not it gives benefit to patients. Participating in a Phase I clinical trial gives patients access to some of the latest cancer treatments.
- Phase II
- Phase II trials identify if the drug or treatment is effective in a larger group and help further establish safety concerns across more patients.
- Phase III
- Phase III trials determine within a large group if the experimental drug or treatment works better than what is currently used and if there are additional side effects. Most Phase III trials are randomized, meaning some participants will receive the experimental drug or treatment while others will receive the standard drug or treatment currently accepted by the medical community as best for their cancer type (standard of care).
Visit cancer.northwestern.edu/clinical-trials to learn more and search a continually updated list of clinical trials.