NCCN Guidelines for Patients™: Multiple Myeloma
4.3 Phases of clinical trials
trials are often needed before the FDA 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.
If you would like to join a clinical trial, talk with your
doctor. There may be clinical trials where you’re getting
treatment. To join, you must meet the conditions of the
study. Patients in a clinical trial are often alike in terms of
their cancer and general health. This is to know that any
progress is because of the treatment and not because of
differences between patients. Even if you qualify for the
study, it is still your choice to join.
To join, you’ll need to review a paper called an informed
consent form. This form describes the study in detail,
including the risks and benefits. Also, your doctor will
explain why the clinical trial may be right for you. You will
be able to fully read the form and have all your questions
answered. Afterward, you may decide to sign the form
and start in the study.
4.4 Joining a clinical trial