What are clinical trials?

Cancer clinical trials are research studies for developing better ways of detecting, treating, and eventually preventing cancer. By taking part in a clinical trial, you are among the first to receive new research treatments before they are widely available. Your participation in a clinical trial will influence the future direction of cancer care. 

If you are interested in participating in a clinical trial, consult with your physician. Please note: clinical trials are not risk free. Patients must explore the options that are best for their individuals needs with the help of their physician.

Types of Clinical Trials

Clinical trials are divided into four phases, depending on what kind of information researchers are seeking. Currently CRCWM is involved in Phase II and Phase III studies.

  • Phase I Studies: Involve a small number of patients and are designed to determine the best tolerated dose of a new medication.
  • Phase II Studies: Evaluate the correct dosing of new medication, and the effectiveness of a new treatment plan.
  • Phase III Studies: Evaluate dose amounts and how well a disease responds to the treatment. In these studies, researchers compare new medications with standard treatments or placebos.
  • Phase IV Studies: Are conducted with approved marketed drugs to gain more information.

How Can You Participate in Cancer Prevention Clinical Trials?

If you wish to participate in a clinical trial first consult with your physician.  Next you can contact the CRCWM offices.  Our staff will provide you with education about the trial, a personalized assessment, and will answer your questions.  We will work closely with you and your personal physician to determine whether or not you meet eligibility criteria.  If you meet the criteria and are still interested in participating in a clinical trial, you will be asked to review and sign a patient consent form detailing what will occur during the study, what your rights are as a participant and all known side effects of any medication.  Once you enroll in a clinical trial, our staff will carefully monitor your progress.  You will be informed of study findings as the study progresses.

How Can You Participate in Cancer Treatment Clinical Trials?

If you wish to participate in a cancer treatment trial, consult with your physician.  Your physician will determine whether you are eligible for a clinical trial.  If you meet eligibility criteria and you wish to participate, you will be asked to give your written consent for the particular trial suggested for you. The consent form explains what will occur during the study, what your rights are as a participant and all known side effects of any medication.  Once enrolled in a trial, your physician will closely monitor your progress and report your progress to our staff.

For more information regarding cancer prevention and treatment clinical trials, call the Cancer Research Consortium of West Michigan at 616-391-1230.  Our team can provide you with up-to-date information on cancer clinical trials and determine if a clinical trial is right for you.