The subject of clinical trials is one of the most fascinating, and controversial, in any discussion of cancer treatment.

A clinical trial is a controlled scientific study of a medication, method of treatment, or progression of a disease. Clinical trials may be conducted by physicians and scientists at universities, hospitals and medical centers, and drug companies. All clinical trials must be approved by the FDA and the institutional review board (a group of scientists, physicians, and often community representatives) at the entity where the clinical trial is taking place.

There are all kinds of clinical trials, ranging from those investigating break-through drugs or therapies that have the potential to revolutionize the treatment of a disease to those which are testing a minor modification of a drug, drug scheduling, or treatment option that primarily offers a “new” economic opportunity for a drug firm. Some clinical trials offer the promise of a better option for patients who have exhausted current treatments, and some do not. It is up to the patient, in consultation with his/her physician, to determine if any of the available options might be appropriate. It is important to remember that the reason that these treatments are available as clinical trials is that there is, as yet, no information indicating that the treatment is better than what is currently available. That is the purpose of the “clinical trial.”

There are clinical trials for all stages of Bladder Cancer be it invasive, non-invasive or metastatic. Your doctor may talk to you about clinical trials going on within their institution or you may look for one yourself. Whatever the case do your homework, know what the benefits are for you and if the trial offers an enhanced potential to help you more than standard treatment.

What follows are links to information to help you educate yourself about clinical trials as well as matching services that can help you find a clinical trial for which you might be eligible.

Finding a Clinical Trial

National Cancer Institute Sponsored Clinical Trial Finder

Clinical Trial Finder for Clinical Trials at the Center for Cancer Research at Bethesda Maryland

Suggested Reading

From the National Cancer Institute

From clinicaltrials.gov a service of the National Institutes of Health