NCCN Guidelines for Patients® | Caring for Adolescents and Young Adults - page 51

NCCN Guidelines for Patients
: Caring for Adolescents and Young Adults
Version 2013
Part 5: Understanding your treatment options
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Phase III
trials include large numbers of patients. Often, these trials are
randomized. This means that patients are put into a treatment group by
chance. There can be more than two treatment groups in phase III trials.
The control group gets the standard treatment and the other groups get a
new treatment. Neither you nor your doctor can choose your group. Every
patient in phase III studies is watched closely. The study will be stopped
early if the side effects of the new drug are too severe or if one group has
much better results than the other group. Phase III clinical trials are often
needed before the U.S. FDA (
ood and
dministration) will approve
the use of a new drug for the general public.
Phase IV
trials test new drugs approved by the FDA. The drug is tested in
many patients with different types of cancer. This allows for better research
on short-lived and long-lasting side effects and safety. For instance, some
rare side effects may only be found in large groups of people. Doctors can
also learn more about how well the drug works and if it’s helpful when used
with other treatments.
The National Institutes of Health maintains a searchable database
of publicly and privately supported clinical trials, including enrollment
requirements and contact information. You can access the database at
The National Cancer Institute’s Cancer Information Service can
also provide information on clinical trials. The service is available in
English and Spanish, Monday through Friday 8:00
to 8:00
ET at
1-800-4-CANCER (1-800-422-6237).
Finding a Clinical Trial
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