cancer care

Clinical Trials

What are clinical trials?

Clinical trials, also known as research studies, test and help find new and better ways to treat patients now and in the future. New cancer treatments must prove to be both safe and effective in scientific studies before they can be made widely available to patients.

Cancer clinical trials test new:

  • Drugs
  • Types of treatment (such as gene therapy)
  • Combinations of treatments
  • Approaches to surgery and radiation therapy
  • Supportive care

Through clinical trials we learn which options are most effective for which cancers. The standard treatments we use now were first shown to be effective in clinical trials.

Patients may be eligible to participate in a clinical trial through their oncologist. Participating doctors evaluate each patient's unique situation to see if they meet the requirements to participate.

Why do patients participate in clinical trials?

Patients take part in clinical trials for many reasons. Although they hope to gain personal benefit, many also want to contribute to research that may help others. Some patients participate because of their doctor's recommendation.

For many diseases, the best treatment available is the treatment being tested in a clinical trial.

Learn more about clinical trials Talk with your provider, check out clinical trials with our partner, OHSU Knight Cancer Institute, or call the National Cancer Institute at 800-4-CANCER (800-422-6237).