How do Clinical Trials work?

During the investigation of a new treatment or intervention more and more information is gained about its safety, administration, and how well it works. Only the most promising new therapies or procedures are moved into clinical trials after researchers have thoroughly tested them in lab and animal studies. People who take part in cancer clinical trials receive state-of-the-art care from cancer experts and have an opportunity to contribute to our understanding of cancer and to help in the development of improved treatments. Clinical trials are conducted in a healthcare setting (a hospital or clinic) and are monitored by trained healthcare professionals. Before they can begin, trials are reviewed by the Food and Drug Administration, and must also be approved by an Institutional Review Board (IRB), which is a committee made up of doctors, ethicists, administrators, and members of the general public. This group makes sure that patients are protected and that trials follow federal laws.