Clinical Trials

View this clinical trials map for a complete and up-to-date list of ovarian cancer clinical trials located in your state or local area.


Clinical trials are research studies designed to find ways to improve health and cancer care. Each study tries to answer scientific questions and to find better ways to prevent, diagnose, or treat cancer. Many women undergoing treatment for ovarian cancer choose to participate in clinical trials. Through participation in these trials, patients may receive access to new and investigational therapy options that are not available to women outside the clinical trial setting.


What is an ovarian cancer clinical trial and why should you consider participating?

Clinical trials are comprehensive, controlled studies that help to prevent, diagnose and determine new treatment options for ovarian cancer.


What are the stages of a clinical trial?

Clinical trials are broken down into 4 separate categories:

Prevention - These trials test new interventions that may lower the risk of developing certain types of cancer. Most cancer prevention trials involve healthy people who have not had cancer; however, they often only include people who have a higher than average risk of developing a specific type of cancer. Some cancer prevention trials involve people who have had cancer in the past; these trials test interventions that may help prevent the return (recurrence) of the original cancer or reduce the chance of developing a new type of cancer, this is an important distinction for ovarian cancer as it has a significantly high rate of recurrence.

Treatment - These trials test the effectiveness of new treatments or new ways of using current treatments in people who have cancer. The treatments tested may include new drugs or new combinations of currently used drugs, new surgery or radiation therapy techniques, and vaccines or other treatments that stimulate a person’s immune system to fight cancer. Combinations of different treatment types may also be tested in these trials.

Screening - Used to find new ways to detect cancer, especially in the early stages.

Quality of Life - Explore ways to improve quality of life for cancer patients.


Clinical Trial Phases

Clinical trials are done in 3 or 4 separate phases. This allows the researchers the opportunity to ask and answer questions that provides reliable information and protects the patient.

  • PHASE I – Evaluates how the drug should be administered, what dosage is appropriate and has a very limited number of patients registered for the trial.
  • PHASE II - Enrolls additional patients, continues evaluation of effectiveness and safety of drug. Focuses on specific cancers.
  • PHASE III – Enrollment of large numbers of participants, test the effectiveness of the drugs or combination of drugs, or surgical techniques against the standard treatment. Patients are usually put into a minimum of 2 groups- 1 is the standard group and the other a new random group (know as randomization).
  • PHASE IV – Optional – Focuses on long-term effectiveness and side effects of drug or treatment post approval. Phase IV is held over a long period of time.

Information to Keep in mind

  • Clinical trials are only open to people who meet very specific medical requirements; every person is not eligible for each clinical trial.
  • Clinical trial participants can be among the first to receive new treatments before they hit the market. But remember, these treatments are under investigation and may have potential side effects.
  • It is your right to withdraw from a clinical trial at any time.
  • For many women with ovarian cancer, especially those experiencing resistant or recurrent ovarian cancer, investigational treatments can offer new hope. There are also frontline clinical trials for those who are newly diagnosed.
  • It is advisable that you bring along a family member or friend to help you understand what’s involved in the process of the clinical trial. They will be able to take notes and ask questions you may be too overwhelmed to remember.

Questions to begin the discussion with your doctor or the clinical trial specialist

  • What is the purpose/objective of the clinical trial?
  • Who is running the clinical trial?
  • Am I eligible to participate?
  • What phase is this clinical trial in?
  • What are the benefits and What are the risks?
  • Will my insurance cover the costs?
  • How long is the expected participation in the clinical trial?

States That Require Health Plans to Cover Patient Care Costs in Clinical Trials

A growing number of states have passed legislation or instituted special agreements requiring health plans to pay the cost of routine medical care you receive as a participant in a clinical trial.


For information, please visit

For a complete and up-to-date list of all ovarian cancer clinical trials: View Clinical Trials Map

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