Thyroid Cancer Treatment Clinical Trials

Clinical trials are an important part of medical progress. When conducting clinical trials, research scientists take their work out of the laboratory and into the “real world” to evaluate its safety and effectiveness. Depending on the type, status, and stage of your thyroid cancer, participating in a clinical trial may be an effective and important component of your treatment.

How Do Clinical Trials Work?

Through data collected in clinical trials, research scientists seek answers to specific questions about new drugs and treatment methodologies and how they affect certain diseases.

Monitoring risks and potential side effects is also an important part of the clinical trial process.

Clinical trials are generally divided into different phases to reflect the issues they’re exploring and the size of the group involved. “Phase I” studies usually involve a small group of patients and tend to focus on questions of safety and efficacy. At the other end of the spectrum, “Phase IV” studies take place after the treatment has been marketed, and analyze long-term effects.

How to Find Clinical Trials – Research Tips

You might think that clinical trials are only conducted in major metropolitan areas, but they’re actually widely distributed across the United States, occurring in hospitals across the country in urban and rural areas alike.

Although you don’t always need a referral from your doctor to take part in a clinical trial, she’s often the best place to start researching your clinical trial options. You will want to check with her before starting an experimental cancer treatment. In addition to your primary care physician, your oncologist, surgeon, and other members of your health care team might be aware of clinical trials they think could help you.

If you’re looking for clinical trials in your area, the best place to start is online. We offer a service here at HealthTree.com that can help match you with clinical trials on thyroid cancer in your state.

Aside from viewing our site, you may also want to explore lists maintained by cancer and patient advocacy groups (such as the American Thyroid Association), industry-sponsored cancer trials, and other clinical trial services.

How Do I Know If a Clinical Trial Is Right for Me?

It’s important to discuss participation in a clinical trial with your healthcare team. Your options for clinical trial participation will depend on the kind of thyroid cancer you have, your health history, and the progression of your disease.

Some clinical trials are studying first-line treatments and will only take patients who have not had any treatment of any kind. Others may offer second or third-line options if your first treatment hasn’t been successful.

Resources

National Cancer Institute staff. (2009). How to find a cancer treatment trial: A 10-step guide. Retrieved March 30, 2010, from the National Cancer Institute Web site: http://www.cancer.gov/clinicaltrials/finding/treatment-trial-guide.

The Thyroid Cancer Survivors’ Association staff. (2010). Clinical trials. Retrieved March 30, 2010, from the Thyroid Cancer Survivors’ Association Web site: http://www.thyca.org/clinical_trials.htm.

American Thyroid Association staff. (2010). Find clinical trials. Retrieved March 30, 2010, from the American Thyroid Association Web site: http://www.thyroidtrials.org/.

Wrong Diagnosis staff. (2010). Clinical Trials for Thyroid Cancer. Retrieved March 30, 2010, from the Wrong Diagnosis Web site: http://www.wrongdiagnosis.com/t/thyroid_cancer/trials.htm.