Types of Clinical Trials

There are several types of cancer clinical trials, each type of trial is designed to solve different research questions and help researchers provide the best care for each individual patient.

Prevention trials


Prevention trials test new approaches such as medications, vitamins, or other supplements that doctors believe may lower the risk of developing a certain type of cancer. Most prevention trials are done with healthy people who have not had cancer.

Screening trials


Screening trials explore ways to detect cancer or pre-cancer condition earlier. They are done to determine whether finding cancer before it causes symptoms decreases the chance of dying from the disease. These trials involve people who do not have any symptoms or a diagnosis of cancer.

Diagnostic trials


Diagnostic trials explore tests or procedures that could be used to identify cancer earlier and more accurately.

Treatment trials


Treatment trials usually involve people who have cancer. They are designed to answer specific questions about the safety and effectiveness of a new treatment or intervention in treating or in some cases preventing cancer. These trials may test many types of treatments such as new drugs, vaccines, new approaches to surgery or radiation therapy, or new combinations of treatments.

Quality-of-life trials


Quality-of-life (also called Supportive Care or Palliative Care) Trials explore ways to improve the comfort and quality of life of cancer patients and cancer survivors such as ways to minimize the short- and long-term side effects of cancer-related treatment.