Clinical Trials for Cancer Patients: What You Need to Know

Home > Blog > Clinical Trials for Cancer Patients: What You Need to Know

May 11, 2023
Clinical Trials

Cancer is a complex and challenging disease that requires continuous research to develop new treatments and improve patient outcomes. Clinical trials play a crucial role in this process as they provide a way to test the safety and effectiveness of new cancer therapies. Clinical trials also offer hope to patients and families who are dealing with this disease.

If you are considering taking part in a cancer clinical trial, here are some things you should know.

What are clinical trials?

Clinical trials are research studies that involve human participants to evaluate new treatments, drugs, medical procedures, or combinations of treatments for various diseases, including cancer. Clinical trials are conducted in different phases, each designed to answer specific questions about the safety, effectiveness, and side effects of the treatment under investigation.

Cancer clinical trials can have different objectives. Some are geared toward testing new drugs, medical procedures, or combinations of treatments. Others evaluate methods for preventing cancer, procedures to screen for cancer early, or ways to improve comfort and quality of life for cancer patients.

What are the phases of cancer clinical trials?

Most cancer drugs go through three to four trial phases.

●     Phase I evaluates the safety of the new drug or procedure.

●     Phase II tests the new drug or procedure on a specific cancer type.

●     Phase III compares the new drug or procedure to current treatments.

●     Phase IV involves additional testing after initial approval to study long-term effects or effectiveness in other cancer types.

Should you participate in a clinical trial?

Participating in a clinical trial is a significant decision that requires careful consideration. By participating in a clinical trial, you have the opportunity to access cutting-edge treatments that may not yet be available to the general public. This can be especially valuable for patients who have exhausted other treatment options and are looking for new options to improve their prognosis.

In addition to receiving access to new treatments, patients who participate in clinical trials also contribute to life-saving cancer research. By participating in a clinical trial, you help researchers learn more about the disease and how to better treat it in the future. This can lead to improved outcomes not only for you, but also for future generations of cancer patients. Many patients feel that participating in a clinical trial gives them a more active role in their healthcare.

Before you commit to a clinical trial, your oncologist will thoroughly discuss all aspects of the trial with you, including risks and benefits. He or she will make sure all your questions have been answered and that you are comfortable with your decision to take part. The decision whether or not to participate in a clinical trial is ultimately yours to make.

Clinical Trials at Arizona Oncology

At Arizona Oncology, we take pride in our ability to push medical innovation and patient care standards to new heights. We participate in clinical trials through the Sarah Cannon Research Institute, which has played a role in more than 70 FDA-approved cancer therapies, about one-third of all cancer therapies approved by the FDA to date. Our partnership with the US Oncology Network makes us one of the worldwide leaders in cancer clinical trials.

To browse the clinical trials currently underway at Arizona Oncology, visit