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36

NCCN Guidelines for Patients

®

:

Thyroid Cancer, Version 1.2017

4

Cancer treatment

Clinical trials

Your doctor will offer treatment options based on

your health and disease status. He or she will have

information to share with you about the type of

targeted therapy and its possible effects on your

body.

Common side effects of targeted therapy may

include:

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Extreme tiredness (fatigue)

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Body aches

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Rash

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Not wanting to eat

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Nausea and vomiting

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Diarrhea

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Constipation

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Low blood cell counts

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High blood pressure

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Abnormal bleeding

Some targeted therapies have serious side effects

that can affect your heart, skin, and digestive system.

Ask your treatment team for a complete list of side

effects for the cancer drug you are taking. Share any

side effects you have with your treatment team so

they can help you feel better.

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 cancer care. This

guide provides 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 drug to give, its side

effects, and how often to give the treatment.

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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 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 of a clinical trial:

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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