Treatment trials test new ways to treat disease, which might involve:
- A new drug
- A new type of surgery or radiation
- A new combination of treatments
- New methods such as gene therapy
- CAM (complimentary and alternative methods)
- Sometimes extra tissue samples are taken for additional laboratory studies
- Questionnaires and surveys
Example: A study compares a new drug against the standard drugs. It looks to see if the new drug treats a type of cancer better and with fewer side effects.
Prevention trials test new methods, such as medicines, vitamins or minerals that may lower the risk of a disease. These trials
- Look for the best way to prevent cancer in people who have never had cancer
- Look for ways to prevent cancer from coming back
- Test ways to prevent a new type of cancer in people who have already had cancer
Example: A study uses a drug to see if it prevents a certain cancer.
Screening trials test the best way to detect a disease in its early stages.
Example: A study does one MRI scan of the whole body to find cancers in children instead of doing several CT scans and x-rays.
Epidemiologic or Observational Research
Epidemiologic or observational research looks at the link between risk factors and disease. Others look at the effect of treatments for the disease.
Example: A study looks at the effects of medicines on decision-making in patients with cancer.
Correlative research uses blood and tissue samples to look at disease risk or how well a treatment is working.
Quality of Life Research
Quality of life research looks at ways to improve comfort and quality of life for patients.
Example: A study compares the quality of life of patients who had a bone marrow transplant with healthy people of the same age, sex, and schooling.