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Clinical Trials

A clinical trial (also called an interventional study or clinical study) is a research study conducted to answer specific questions about a new treatment or a new way of using an existing treatment. Participation in a clinical study contributes to medical knowledge. The investigators in clinical trials want to determine the safety and effectiveness of the treatment being investigated by making specific assessments, before, during, and after the trial. In general, clinical studies are designed to add to medical knowledge related to the treatment, diagnosis, and prevention of diseases or conditions. Some common reasons for conducting clinical studies include:

  • Evaluating one or more products/interventions (ie drugs, medical devices, approaches to surgery or radiation therapy) for treating a disease, syndrome, or condition
  • Finding ways to prevent the initial development or recurrence of a disease or condition, including medicines, vaccines, or lifestyle changes, such as diet, among other approaches
  • Evaluating one or more interventions aimed at identifying or diagnosing a particular disease or condition, or identifying a condition or risk factor for that condition
  • Exploring and measuring ways to improve the comfort and quality of life of people with a chronic illness through supportive care
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), as well as the Institutional Review Board (IRB) of the participating hospital or institution, must approve each clinical trial protocol. Most new treatments go through at least three trial phases, which are defined by the FDA, before becoming a standard therapy that is used in hospitals and clinics. Each phase is designed to find out certain information, building upon the information learned from the previous phase. Patients may be able to take part in different stages depending on their condition, their type and stage of cancer, and the type of treatment, if any, that they have already received.

Hundreds of lymphoma clinical trials are being conducted at hospitals, cancer centers, and doctors' offices, often sponsored by the government, pharmaceutical companies, universities, and physician groups.Your decision to participate in a cancer trial is an individual decision that should be made with your doctor after careful consideration of all of the potential risks and benefits. You may choose to discontinue participation in a clinical trial at any time. For more information, please see LRF's Understanding Clinical Trials Fact Sheet


Clinical Trials Information Service

The Lymphoma Research Foundation (LRF) provides a Clinical Trials Information Service to increase awareness about investigational treatments for lymphoma being evaluated at cancer treatment centers nationwide.  LRF does not provide medical advice or endorse specific treatments; however, upon request, the Helpline staff will conduct a search for potential lymphoma treatment trials based upon medical information that you provide.  You are strongly encouraged to discuss with your physician the summaries mailed to you by LRF.  Your cancer specialist will be familiar with your medical history and can best evaluate all of the study criteria to determine if the clinical trial is appropriate for you.

Information that is requested in order to perform the clinical trials search is:
1. Age
2. Diagnosis (lymphoma subtype)
3. Types of previous treatment (if any), the dates and the response
4. Other medical diagnosis (i.e., another cancer, HIV, pregnancy)
5. Geographic area willing to travel to for treatment

Hundreds of lymphoma clinical trials are being conducted at hospitals, cancer centers, and doctors' offices, often sponsored by the government, pharmaceutical companies, universities, and physician groups. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration, as well as the Institutional Review Board of the participating hospital or institution must approve each clinical trial phase. Your decision to participate in a cancer trial is an individual decision that should be made with your doctor after careful consideration of all of the potential risks and benefits. You may choose to discontinue participation in a clinical trial at any time.  For more general information, please:

If you have questions, or would like assistance, call the Lymphoma Research Foundation Helpline at (800) 500-9976 or by email at helpline@lymphoma.org.

LRF makes reasonable efforts to search publicly posted trials, but cannot guarantee that the trials provided are entirely comprehensive or that you will in fact meet all eligibility criteria. Not all study sponsors post their clinical trial information on public databases, so there is no entirely comprehensive listing. Clinical trials information is updated frequently.  LRF cannot be held responsible for any consequences or damages arising from the use of this information. This service is governed by the term and conditions of the website.

Resources for Clinical Trials and Searches

The National Institutes of Health (NIH)
www.clinicaltrials.gov

This site, sponsored by the National Library of Medicine and the National Institutes of Health includes hundreds of lymphoma trials sponsored by the NCI, health institutions and the pharmaceutical industry, with links to published medical literature. The goal of this Web site is to offer a comprehensive clinical trial resource that is easy to navigate. Under the resources section of this site are links for information on clinical trials, how to participate in a study, a glossary of clinical trial terms, and links for other resources.



The National Cancer Institute (NCI)
www.cancer.gov/clinicaltrials

Although this site shares clinical trial summaries with the above www.clinicaltrials.gov website, the search process is different and may be preferred by some. Trial summaries are in two versions, one for patients and another for healthcare professionals. Also found here are many resources including listing recent developments and results; an overview for learning about clinical trials; and a comprehensive step by step detail on finding a clinical trial. Finally the NCI's Information Service at 800-4-CANCER is available to provide more information on clinical trials and to request educational materials.

 


Search Tips

When searching these government Web sites and the additional ones listed below, you might want to consider these tips:

 Focus on what is important to you: Is traveling a restriction? Are you interested in a specific treatment option? Will you consider trials in early development?

  1. Explore the site’s frequently asked questions (FAQs), tools, and links for help.
  2. Try different ways of searching for trials: by condition, treatment, and key terms (relapsed, etc.).
  3. Conduct the search several times under general and specific criteria. This will give you practice and help access more possible results that apply.
  4. If the site asks a series of questions for creating a search profile, if possible, provide as much information as known. This will help narrow down results to those that apply to your situation.
  5. If available, create a registered account, which may allow you to save your search results. If this option is not available, add search results directly to your Internet provider’s list of favorites for later review.
  6. Due to the complex nature of lymphoma and clinical trials, remember that help is available from LRF's Helpline at (800) 500-9976 or e-mail.