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Clinical trials

What is a clinical trial?

The term “clinical trial” refers to testing new and promising medications. These studies may also test new ways to prevent or diagnose diseases such as lung cancer.

Clinical trials may include new ways to take medicine, radiation therapy, or surgery. Clinical trial teams make sure you receive the safest and best care. You will either receive the current “gold standard of care” treatment or the new medication.

Sometimes, patients may receive a “sugar pill”, or placebo, in addition to their standard treatment. Placebos are almost never used by themselves. If a placebo is ever used in a cancer clinical trial, all patients will know ahead of time.

When should I consider a clinical trial?

If you are recently diagnosed, you do not need to wait to consider a clinical trial for your treatment. No matter where you are in your treatment process, your oncologist may recommend a clinical trial that could be a good option for you.

Keep in mind:

Your particular type and stage of lung cancer and health will determine your options. Talk to your doctor to see which clinical trials are appropriate for you.

Timing. You can stop at any time you choose, for any reason, and return to the standard treatment.

Safety first. Protection for patients in clinical trials is the number one priority. Experts review all the studies to make sure the patients’ health and well-being are at the center.

Scheduling. Participation in a clinical trial may mean more office visits, tests, or procedures. Be sure you understand the time commitment with a trial as you make your decision.

Pros & cons. As with any cancer treatment option, clinical trials have potential risks and benefits. Discuss these with your doctor or healthcare team as you make decisions.

Are there additional costs to be in a clinical trial?

Your insurance will usually pay for the costs associated with “standard” treatments and the trial itself will usually pay for any extra trial-related costs. Ask your doctor’s office to help you understand your coverage before you start a clinical trial.

How do I find a clinical trial?

You may also call the Lung Cancer Support Line toll-free at (844) 835-4325 or contact us at support@LCRF.org.

What are the benefits?

Get exceptional care
In clinical trials, patients report they get even more attention from the study team. Patients share the increased office visits or check-ins have offered extra guidance.

Early access to promising new treatment
Clinical trials introduce patients to the most promising cancer treatments. Many of the latest innovative treatments are only available through clinical trials.

Feel empowered
Patients and caregivers shared that an added benefit is their role in research. By participating, they learned more, helped future patients, and received treatment at the same time.