Clinical Trials

  • Clinical trials test promising new treatments, seek improvements to current treatments, or aim to detect or prevent cancer recurrence.
  • Clinical trial participants make an important contribution to the future of cancer care.
  • After learning more about clinical trials as a viable option, please consult with your doctor about how to get involved. Publication of this search engine is not intended to take the place of medical care or the advice of your doctor.
The Cancer Support Community Clinical Trials Matching Service, powered by EmergingMed, will help you to find clinical trials options that match your uniqie diagnosis and treatment history. Click here or call 1-800-814-8927 to learn about current trials available to you.  

The Cancer Support Community Clinical Trials Matching Service, in partnership with EmergingMed, provides phone and web-based prescreening, referral and education services to patients, advocates and health care professionals searching for appropriate clinical trials.  Specific information is needed about each cancer diagnosis.  The service uses a questionnaire to compare to compare a patient's profile to the specific eligibility criteria of cancer clinical trials in the area.  If no trial matches are found locally, then the caller will be offered trial matches nationwide.  During the initial call, a Clinical Trials Specialist will also provide a basic clinical trials education and mail/email/fax trial matches to constituents who successfully match to one or more trials.  
What are Cancer Clinical Trials?
Before a new treatment method for cancer is made available to the public, it must undergo a clinical trial; and any new treatment must successfully complete each of three phases of trials before the federal Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approves it for general use.
  • Phase I trials help researchers determine the best way to give a new treatment (by mouth, injection or IV drip, for instance) and the most appropriate dosage. These trials also establish whether a treatment has any potentially harmful side effects. Only a few people participate in this stage.
  • Phase II trials evaluate whether the new treatment actually has a positive effect against a particular type of cancer. In general, if at least 20 percent of participants respond well to the treatment, the new therapy undergoes further evaluation.
  • Phase III trials compare the new treatment to the best existing treatment for a particular type of cancer. If eligible, many people - from the hundreds to even the thousands - can participate. Phase III trials can involve, for example, adding a new drug to an already-proven combination of drugs to see if the combination is more effective. It is important to know that every participant in a Phase III trial receives either the current standard treatment OR the new treatment. People who are eligible for a clinical trial and choose to participate are informed of the possible risks and benefits, and they are protected through laws that value a participant's right to leave the trial at any time.
Review the NCI glossary of clinical trial terms

Ways to Actively Participate in Your Treatment:
  • Partner with your physician - Before deciding to enroll in a clinical trial, schedule a meeting to talk with your oncologist. Bring a family member or friend to help you address your questions and concerns.
  • Find support - Talk with others who have experience with a clinical trial. Your health care team or organizations like Cancer Support Community will help connect you with others who can share their experiences.
  • Educate yourself - There are organizations that provide up-to-date information about what is being studied and whether a cancer clinical trial is right for you. This chart provides some helpful websites with information about specific trials.

National Institutes of Health, National Cancer Institute's Clinical Trials Registry
  • What is it? Database produced by NCI which is a registry of approximately 1,800 active cancer clinical trials. 
  • How do I access it? Go to  Go to the clinical trials area and follow the search directions OR Call 1-800-4-CANCER
  • What will it provide? Summaries about clinical trials conducted by NCI-sponsored researchers, the pharmaceutical industry, and some international groups.

The National Coalition for Cancer Cooperative Groups
  • What is it? Nonprofit organization dedicated to improve the quality of life and survival of cancer patients by increasing participation in cancer clinical trials with services and products. TrialCheck®, developed by the Coalition and winner of the 2008 Consumer Health Award, is the nation’s premier cancer clinical trials navigation and matching service.
  • How do I access it? Go to . Answer a few basic questions such as patient's zip code, disease type, stage and prior treatment history.
  • What will it provide? A tailored list of treatment trials is created that is displayed according to distance from zip code entered. Trial information can be easily downloaded for discussion with a physician regarding the potential for enrollment.

Pharmaceutical Resources and Internet Clinical Trial Matching Sites

  • What are they? Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA) publishes a list of new cancer drugs in development.  The CenterWatch’s Clinical Trials Listing Service and’s clinical trials matching service list many industry- and Government-sponsored trials.
  • How do I access them?
PhRMA - Go to Click on “New Medicines in Development” and search by disease. The drugs are listed by cancer type OR Call 202-835-3400.
CenterWatch - Go to Click on “Trial Listings” and then “CenterWatch Trial Listings by Medical Areas" OR Call 617-856-5900.
The Cancer Support Community Clinical Trials Matching Service  - In partnership with Emerging Med. Go to OR Call 800-814-8927 - Is a non-profit service that is dedicated to providing accurate information about breast cancer clinical trials. Go to OR Call (415) 476-5777.

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