The Importance Of African Americans In Cancer Clinical Trials

family posing together for a pictureClinical trials test new approaches to preventing, diagnosing or treating illness in human volunteers. Advancements in science and medicine are the direct result of clinical trials.

Most clinical trials involving cancer patients study new drugs or combinations of drugs to make sure they are safe and effective. Clinical trials are the ONLY scientific way to prove whether a new treatment works better than current treatments.

Examples of clinical trials include studies about:

  • Preventing or detecting cancer
  • New drugs, vaccines or surgical techniques
  •  Approaches to preventing or treating the side effects of cancer treatments
  • Ways to improve the quality of life of cancer patients

All of today’s cancer treatments were once tested for safety and effectiveness as part of clinical trials.

Who can participate?

All kinds of people may join clinical trials including patients with illnesses as well as healthy volunteers.

To join a clinical trial, a participant must meet certain requirements specific to the study. These criteria are important to keep participants safe and to make sure the results of the study are reliable.

Eligibility criteria for clinical trials may be based on many factors such as:

  • Cancer diagnosis
  • Age of patient
  • Previous cancer treatments
  • Prior medical history