Clinical trials are research studies which find new ways to prevent, treat, detect and manage various diseases or types of cancers. Clinical trials provide new information and findings about the safety and effectiveness of various new approaches to attempt to eliminate or alleviate the cancer journey.
Many common practices which are used today to detect and treat thyroid cancer were initially used as a clinical trial. Participation in a prostate cancer clinical trial may be optional if you or someone you know is at risk of prostate cancer or currently has thyroid cancer.
Clinical trials answer important scientific questions which can lead to new research findings. Findings from past clinical trials have resulted in new and more effective drugs for specific types of cancers, drugs with fewer side effects and less invasive methods of surgery (1).
If you are considering taking part in a clinical trial, here are some questions to ask your doctor (2).
- Why is this trial being done?
- What are my other options (standard treatments other studies)? What are their advantages and disadvantages?
- What kind of tests and treatments does the study involve? How often are they done?
- Will this require an extra time commitment on my part?
- How could the study affect my daily life?
- What side effects might I expect from the study treatment? (Remember that there can also be side effects from standard treatments and from the disease itself.)
It is essential to have a completely transparent relationship between the patient and the practitioner when considering to take part in a clinical trial.
(1) Canadian Cancer Society, “Clinical Trials”, n.d. http://www.cancer.ca/en/cancer-information/diagnosis-and-treatment/clinical-trials
(2) National Cancer Institute, “Questions to Ask Your Doctor about Treatment Clinical Trials”, 2016. https://www.cancer.gov/about-cancer/treatment/clinical-trials/questions
Clinical Trial Resources
Health Canada clinical trial database Search Health Canada’s clinical trial database allows you to search your criteria to learn if you are eligible to partake in specific clinical trials across Canada.
Cancerview.ca An online network connecting Canadians to quality cancer resources. This website gives a list of clinical trials taking place around Canada.
Canadatrials.com CanadaTrials.com is a public source of information for patients, families and physicians, listing a searchable database of Clinical Research Trials that are actively enrolling patients in Canada.
Canadian Centre for Clinical Trials (CCCT) CCCT works closely with the public and the health care community to recruit qualified candidates for participation in clinical trials and scientific studies in order to test the efficacy of investigational medications and treatments.