NCCN Guidelines for Patients
Soft Tissue Sarcoma, Version 1.2014
Clinical trials | Review
New tests and treatments aren’t offered to the public
as soon as they’re made. They need to be studied.
New uses of tests and treatments also need to be
A clinical trial is a type of research that studies a test
or treatment. Clinical trials study how safe and helpful
tests and treatments are. When found to be safe
and helpful, they may become tomorrow’s standard
of care. Because of clinical trials, the tests and
treatments in this book are now widely used to help
Tests and treatments go through a series of clinical
trials to make sure they’re safe and work. Without
clinical trials, there is no way to know if a test or
treatment is safe or helpful. Clinical trials have four
phases. Examples of the four phases for treatment are:
Phase I trials
aim to find the best dose of a
new drug with the fewest side effects.
Phase II trials
assess if a drug works for a
specific type of cancer.
Phase III trials
compare a new drug to the
Phase IV trials
involve drugs already
approved by the U.S. FDA (
dministration) for at least one disease.
Joining a clinical trial has benefits. First, you’ll have
access to the most current cancer care. Second, you
will receive the best management of care. Third, the
results of your treatment—both good and bad—will be
carefully tracked. Fourth, you may help other patients
Clinical trials have risks, too. Like any test or
treatment, there may be side effects. Also, new
tests or treatments may not work better than current
treatments. Another downside may be that there may
be more paperwork or more trips to the hospital.
To join a clinical trial, 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 seen at the end of the
study is because of the treatment and not because of
differences between patients. To join, you’ll need to
review and sign a paper called an informed consent
form. This form describes the study in detail, including
the risks and benefits.
Ask your treatment team if there is an open clinical
trial that you can join. There may be clinical trials
where you’re getting treatment or at other treatment
centers nearby. You can also find clinical trials
through the websites listed in Part 6.
• Soft tissue supports, connects, and surrounds
parts of your body.
• Local treatments for soft tissue sarcoma
include surgery, radiation therapy, abalation,
• Drug treatments include chemotherapy,
targeted therapy, and immunotherapy.
• Clinical trials give people access to new tests