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.
Information to Keep in mind
Questions to begin the discussion with your doctor or the clinical trial specialist
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 cancer.gov/clinicaltrials/developments/laws-about-clinical-trial-costs
For a complete and up-to-date list of all ovarian cancer clinical trials: View Clinical Trials Map