NCCN Guidelines for Patients® | Stage III Breast Cancer
Table of Contents Table of Contents
Previous Page  16 / 88 Next Page
Information
Show Menu
Previous Page 16 / 88 Next Page
Page Background

14

NCCN Guidelines for Patients

®

:

Breast Cancer – Locally Advanced (STAGE III)

Version 1.2017

1

Breast cancer basics

Clinical trials

and chemotherapy, many women receive radiation

therapy and endocrine therapy.

Stages IIIA (T0-T3, N2, M0), IIIB, and IIIC

Due to the extent of these cancers, it is standard

to first receive chemotherapy. A mastectomy often

follows, but at times a lumpectomy can be done.

Lymph nodes near your armpit will be removed.

Radiation therapy will follow surgery. Endocrine

therapy may be received.

Clinical trials

One of your treatment choices may be to join

a clinical trial. Joining a clinical trial is strongly

supported. NCCN believes that you will receive the

best management in a clinical trial.

New tests and treatments aren’t offered to the

public as soon as they’re made. They first need to

be studied. A clinical trial is a type of research that

studies a test or treatment in people.

Clinical trials study how safe and helpful tests and

treatments are for people. 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 people with breast cancer. Future tests and

treatments that may have better results than today’s

treatments will depend on clinical trials.

New tests and treatments go through a series of

clinical trials. These trials aim to ensure 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 safest and best

dose of a new drug. Another aim is to find the

best way to give the drug with the fewest side

effects. These trials often involve about 20

people.

†

†

Phase II trials

assess if a drug works for a

specific type of cancer.

†

†

Phase III trials

compare a new drug to a

standard treatment. These trials often involve

hundreds or thousands of people.

†

†

Phase IV trials

test drugs approved by the U.S.

FDA (

F

ood and

D

rug

A

dministration) to learn

more about side effects with long-term use.

Joining a clinical trial has benefits. First, you’ll have

access to the most current cancer care. However,

please note that it is unknown how well new

treatments work if at all. Second, you will receive the

best management in a clinical trial. Third, the results

of your treatment—both good and bad—will be

carefully tracked. Fourth, you may help other people

who will have cancer in the future.

Clinical trials have risks, too. Like any test or

treatment, there may be side effects. Also, new tests

or treatments may or may not improve your health.

In fact, your health may worsen during a trial. That is

why every cancer center follows guidelines to assess

the safety of people in research. Other downsides

may include more hospital trips, paperwork, and

extra costs for you.

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. Thus, if

patients improve, it’s because of the treatment and

not because of differences between them.