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26

NCCN Guidelines for Patients

®

:

Pancreatic Cancer, Version 1.2017

3

Cancer treatments

Clinical trials | Cancer treatment

Clinical trials

A clinical trial is a type of research study that people

choose to take part in. Clinical trials help doctors

learn how to prevent, diagnose, and treat a disease

like cancer. Because of clinical trials, doctors find

safe and helpful ways to improve your cancer care.

This guide has information about many of those tests

and treatments used to help people with cancer.

Clinical trials go through levels or phases of testing.

These phases help move the research along to find

out what works best for patients with cancer.

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Phase I looks at how much treatment to give

and how to give it.

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Phase II tests for side effects and how it works

on the cancer type.

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Phase III compares the new treatment (or new

use of treatment) to what is commonly used.

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Phase IV follows late side effects and if the

treatment still works after a long period.

All clinical trials have a plan and are carefully led by

a medical team. Patients in a clinical trial are often

alike with their cancer type and general health. You

can join a clinical trial when you meet certain terms

(eligibility criteria).

If you decide to join a clinical trial, you will need to

review and sign a paper called an informed consent

form. This form describes the clinical trial in detail,

including the risks and benefits. Even after you sign

consent, you can stop taking part in a clinical trial at

any time.

Some benefits:

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You’ll have access to the most current cancer

care

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You will be closely watched by your medical

team

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You may help other patients with cancer

Some risks:

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Like any test or treatment, there may be side

effects

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New tests or treatments may not work

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You may have to visit the hospital more

Cancer treatment

There is no single treatment that is best for all

patients. There is often more than one treatment

option, including clinical trials. Treatment planning for

pancreatic cancer takes into account many factors,

such as:

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Location of the cancer

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Your general health

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Treatment side effects

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Costs of treatment

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Changes to your life

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What you want from treatment

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Your feelings about side effects