Learn About Clinical Trials

Clinical trials are research studies that involve people. Any time you or a loved one need treatment for cancer, clinical trials are an option to think about. Learning all you can about clinical trials can help you talk with your doctor and decide what is right for you.

We want to provide you with up-to-date, credible information about clinical trials. Information on this page is from the National Cancer Institute (NCI) and the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

What are Clinical Trials?

Clinical trials are research studies that involve people. Through clinical trials, doctors find new ways to improve treatments and the quality of life for people with disease.

Researchers design cancer clinical trials to test new ways to:

    • Treat cancer
    • Find and diagnose cancer
    • Prevent cancer
    • Manage symptoms of cancer and side effects from its treatment

Clinical trials are the final step in a long process that begins with research in a lab. Before any new treatment is used with people in clinical trials, researchers work for many years to understand its effects on cancer cells in the lab and in animals. They also try to figure out the side effects it may cause.

Every trial has a person in charge, usually a doctor, who is called the principal investigator. The principal investigator prepares a plan for the trial, called a protocol. The protocol explains what will be done during the trial. It also contains information that helps the doctor decide if this treatment is right for you. The protocol includes information about:

  • The reason for doing the trial
  • Who can join the trial (called “eligibility criteria”)
  • How many people are needed for the trial
  • Any drugs or other treatments that will be given, how they will be given, the dose, and how often
  • What medical tests will be done and how often
  • What types of information will be collected about the people taking part

Any time you or a loved one needs treatment for cancer, clinical trials are an option to think about. Trials are available for all stages of cancer. It is a myth that they are only for people who have advanced cancer that is not responding to treatment.

To look for trials, see Find NCI-Supported Clinical Trials.

Why are Clinical Trials Important?

Today, people are living longer lives from successful cancer treatments that are the results of past clinical trials. Through clinical trials, doctors determine whether new treatments are safe and effective and work better than current treatments. Clinical trials also help us find new ways to prevent and detect cancer. And they help us improve the quality of life for people during and after treatment. When you take part in a clinical trial, you add to our knowledge about cancer and help improve cancer care for future patients. Clinical trials are the key to making progress against cancer.

We asked patients and doctors to discuss their clinical trial experience for people who are wondering if a clinical trial might be right for them.

Why should I join a clinical trial?

Clinical trials are part of clinical research and at the heart of all medical advances. Clinical trials look at new ways to prevent, detect, or treat disease.

Treatments might be new drugs or new combinations of drugs, new surgical procedures or devices, or new ways to use existing treatments.

The goal of clinical trials is to determine if a new test or treatment works and is safe. Clinical trials can also look at other aspects of care, such as improving the quality of life for people with chronic illnesses.

People participate in clinical trials for a variety of reasons. Healthy volunteers say they participate to help others and to contribute to moving science forward. Participants with an illness or disease also participate to help others, but also to possibly receive the newest treatment and to have the additional care and attention from the clinical trial staff.

Clinical trials offer hope for many people and an opportunity to help researchers find better treatments for others in the future.

NCI has trained trial counselors who can help you find potential trials to discuss with your oncologist.  There is no charge to you.

Talking with your oncologist about trials

Dr Martin Voss, medical oncologist from MSKCC discusses gives a detailed discussion of enrolling in a clinical trial for kidney cancer patients

How do I find a Kidney Cancer Trial?

Watch this quick overview of how to search for an NCI-supported clinical trial or call 1-800-4-CANCER (1-800-422-6237) to speak with an NCI cancer information specialist in English or Spanish.

After a discussion with your oncologist about trials, you may want to explore options yourself.

NCI offers help for patients new to clinical trials useful steps to find a trial.

How can I find kidney cancer trials close to me?

clinicaltrials.gov has the broadest information. Use “Find a Study”. Fill in a few basics like “kidney cancer” and location.

You can add a keyword like “immunotherapy” or “Papillary” to filter your results and shorten the list.

Kidney Cancer Research Consortium

The Kidney Cancer Research Consortium is comprised of seven partner institutions at top academic research institutions across the country.

Visit their website for more information about clinical trials.

Paying for Clinical Trials

Many patients ask about the costs of trial participation. A mix of insurance plus trial sponsor support can minimize your out-of-pocket costs.

Learn more by watching this short video from Cancer.gov below.

Download this useful document from the National Cancer Institute to read about taking part in a clinical research trial.

Reliable  Resources for Cancer Information
NATIONAL CANCER INSTITUTE
www.cancer.gov
CANCER.NET
www.cancer.net/cancer-types/kidney-cancer
INTERNATIONAL KIDNEY CANCER COALITION
www.ikcc.org
CANCER AND CAREERS
www.cancerandcareers.org/en/at-work

Join Our Grassroots Army

We know that awareness of kidney cancer and its impact on many lives leads to a sense of urgency, a desire for solutions. Awareness leads to advocacy, and advocacy — joining to speak as one voice — leads to funding and research. That’s how we get to cures.

A couple of photos from today's #DistrictDays advocacy event, where we've gathered patients, caregivers, friends, family, doctors, and researchers to tell Congress that we need robust #research funding for #kidneycancer through the #NIH and the #CDMRP. A few things to notice: 
· Our efforts today spanned the entire US, with folks meeting virtually as far east as New England and as far west as Hawaii!
· The experts gathered to speak up for research funding represent the University of Hawaii, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center.
· Every advocacy meeting is data-packed and backed with numbers ... whether you're a doctor, researcher, patient, or caregiver, we make sure you have the information needed to show Congress the importance of funding kidney cancer research. 
Thank you to this all-star team of advocates for their work today! You're #acceleratingcures!

A couple of photos from today's #DistrictDays advocacy event, where we've gathered patients, caregivers, friends, family, doctors, and researchers to tell Congress that we need robust #research funding for #kidneycancer through the #NIH and the #CDMRP. A few things to notice:

· Our efforts today spanned the entire US, with folks meeting virtually as far east as New England and as far west as Hawaii!
· The experts gathered to speak up for research funding represent the University of Hawaii, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center.
· Every advocacy meeting is data-packed and backed with numbers ... whether you're a doctor, researcher, patient, or caregiver, we make sure you have the information needed to show Congress the importance of funding kidney cancer research.

Thank you to this all-star team of advocates for their work today! You're #acceleratingcures!
...

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Today and tomorrow, KidneyCAN and our partners are telling Congress to #fundthecure for #kidneycancer! 
We're meeting with representatives from all over the United States to share the urgent need for#RCC #research funding. 
Thanks to Katie with @SenatorBurr's office for supporting robust funding for the @NIHgov and the Congressionally Directed Medical Research Programs. 
We are #accleratingcures! Thank you to all of our advocates -- patients, caregivers, family, friends, doctors, and researchers -- who've lifted their voices for our community today!

Today and tomorrow, KidneyCAN and our partners are telling Congress to #fundthecure for #kidneycancer!

We're meeting with representatives from all over the United States to share the urgent need for#RCC #research funding.

Thanks to Katie with @SenatorBurr's office for supporting robust funding for the @NIHgov and the Congressionally Directed Medical Research Programs.

We are #accleratingcures! Thank you to all of our advocates -- patients, caregivers, family, friends, doctors, and researchers -- who've lifted their voices for our community today!
...

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It's not too late to join us for today's #KidneyCancer #TownHall! 
Learn about #clinicaltrials and how to explore your options with two of the nation's leading #research experts.
Register at https://kidneycan.org/clinical-trials-for-kidney-cancer/

It's not too late to join us for today's #KidneyCancer #TownHall!

Learn about #clinicaltrials and how to explore your options with two of the nation's leading #research experts.

Register at https://kidneycan.org/clinical-trials-for-kidney-cancer/
...

9 0
It's a simple and sad fact. We aren't making progress fast enough. 
We need YOU to help us on August 8-9 when we tell Congress to #fundthecure for #kidneycancer. 
District Days Advocacy Event
• Meet with your House and Senate representatives via Zoom. 
• Tell them about the impact of kidney cancer on your life. 
• Ask for funding for research through the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and Congressionally Directed Medical Research Programs - CDMRP. 
It's easy and so impactful. You just tell your story and use the resources provided by KidneyCAN to make specific funding requests. We'll help you every step of the way. 
Learn more and register here: https://kidneycan.org/2022-district-days/
#rcc #kidneycancerawareness #cancerresearch

It's a simple and sad fact. We aren't making progress fast enough.

We need YOU to help us on August 8-9 when we tell Congress to #fundthecure for #kidneycancer.

District Days Advocacy Event
• Meet with your House and Senate representatives via Zoom.
• Tell them about the impact of kidney cancer on your life.
• Ask for funding for research through the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and Congressionally Directed Medical Research Programs - CDMRP.

It's easy and so impactful. You just tell your story and use the resources provided by KidneyCAN to make specific funding requests. We'll help you every step of the way.

Learn more and register here: https://kidneycan.org/2022-district-days/

#rcc #kidneycancerawareness #cancerresearch
...

5 1
Reminder! This event is tomorrow, and it's not too late to join! 
You are invited to the free, virtual Kidney Cancer Patient and Caregiver Education Symposium, hosted by @seattlecancercarealliance in partnership with KidneyCAN and Kidney Cancer Association. During the event, attendees will hear medical experts discuss newly emerging treatment options, brain metastases, surgical advancements, and supportive care such as nutrition along with introductions from patient advocacy and support groups.
Date: July 16, 2022 (Saturday)
Time: 9am to 1:30pm PDT
Co-Chairs: Scott S. Tykodi, MD, PhD and John L. Gore, MD, MS, FACS (Physicians, Seattle Cancer Care Alliance)
Partners: KidneyCAN, Kidney Cancer Association, and Julie & Art Chmura (Seattle Kidney Cancer Support Group)
Format: Virtual (via Zoom)
Register here! https://bit.ly/SCCASymposium
#kidneycancer #RCC #patienteducation #empoweredpatient #acceleratingcures

Reminder! This event is tomorrow, and it's not too late to join!

You are invited to the free, virtual Kidney Cancer Patient and Caregiver Education Symposium, hosted by @seattlecancercarealliance in partnership with KidneyCAN and Kidney Cancer Association. During the event, attendees will hear medical experts discuss newly emerging treatment options, brain metastases, surgical advancements, and supportive care such as nutrition along with introductions from patient advocacy and support groups.

Date: July 16, 2022 (Saturday)
Time: 9am to 1:30pm PDT
Co-Chairs: Scott S. Tykodi, MD, PhD and John L. Gore, MD, MS, FACS (Physicians, Seattle Cancer Care Alliance)
Partners: KidneyCAN, Kidney Cancer Association, and Julie & Art Chmura (Seattle Kidney Cancer Support Group)
Format: Virtual (via Zoom)

Register here! https://bit.ly/SCCASymposium

#kidneycancer #RCC #patienteducation #empoweredpatient #acceleratingcures
...

7 0
If you've ever attended the Dana-Farber/Harvard Cancer Center Kidney Cancer Symposium before, you know it's a wealth of #kidneycancer news and information for patients, caregivers, and families. Don't miss it! 
#educatedpatient #empoweredpatient #RCC #livingwithcancer #acceleratingcures

If you've ever attended the Dana-Farber/Harvard Cancer Center Kidney Cancer Symposium before, you know it's a wealth of #kidneycancer news and information for patients, caregivers, and families. Don't miss it!

#educatedpatient #empoweredpatient #RCC #livingwithcancer #acceleratingcures
...

12 2
Nick shares his reaction and responses when his mom Meryl was diagnosed with Stage IV #kidneycancer, how he moved from shock and fear to hope and pride. 
If you're facing kidney cancer, you're not alone. KidneyCAN has an entire community of patients and caregivers who can talk to you about your experiences and help connect you to expert care. Check out our Patient Resource Center and patient education events at www.kidneycan.org. 
Have a KidneyCANDID topic you'd like to see us tackle? Let us know by emailing info@kidneycan.org with KidneyCANDID Topic in the subject line. 
————————
KidneyCAN works to accelerate cures for kidney cancer by providing patient support and education, encouraging enrollment in clinical trials, advocating for research funding from Congress, and sponsoring collaborative efforts between researchers and medical communities.
#kidneycan #livingwithcancer #acceleratingcures #stageIV #kidneycandid

Nick shares his reaction and responses when his mom Meryl was diagnosed with Stage IV #kidneycancer, how he moved from shock and fear to hope and pride.

If you're facing kidney cancer, you're not alone. KidneyCAN has an entire community of patients and caregivers who can talk to you about your experiences and help connect you to expert care. Check out our Patient Resource Center and patient education events at www.kidneycan.org.

Have a KidneyCANDID topic you'd like to see us tackle? Let us know by emailing [email protected] with KidneyCANDID Topic in the subject line.

————————
KidneyCAN works to accelerate cures for kidney cancer by providing patient support and education, encouraging enrollment in clinical trials, advocating for research funding from Congress, and sponsoring collaborative efforts between researchers and medical communities.

#kidneycan #livingwithcancer #acceleratingcures #stageIV #kidneycandid
...

13 0
So much progress in #kidneycancer research in the last five years! We have YOU, our community of advocates, to thank. 
But the work is unfinished. Join us on #DistrictDays to tell #Congress to fund #RCC research!
Register: https://kidneycan.org/2022-district-days/

So much progress in #kidneycancer research in the last five years! We have YOU, our community of advocates, to thank.

But the work is unfinished. Join us on #DistrictDays to tell #Congress to fund #RCC research!

Register: https://kidneycan.org/2022-district-days/
...

8 0
Join us to learn the basics of the clinical trial process and why trial participation can make sense anywhere along your treatment journey.
Register now to get your questions included in the program! 
https://kidneycan.org/clinical-trials-for-kidney-cancer/

Join us to learn the basics of the clinical trial process and why trial participation can make sense anywhere along your treatment journey.

Register now to get your questions included in the program!
https://kidneycan.org/clinical-trials-for-kidney-cancer/
...

8 0
It's not too late to join @TriageCancer for an empowering webinar for patients and caregivers. 
Learn how YOU can make a difference for those living with #cancer. 
“Engaging in Policy & Legislative Advocacy”
⁩TODAY! June 21, 2022
10am PT | 12pm CT | 1pm ET
Register: https://triagecancer.org/webinarreg-advocacy

It's not too late to join @TriageCancer for an empowering webinar for patients and caregivers.

Learn how YOU can make a difference for those living with #cancer.

“Engaging in Policy & Legislative Advocacy”
⁩TODAY! June 21, 2022
10am PT | 12pm CT | 1pm ET
Register: https://triagecancer.org/webinarreg-advocacy
...

7 0

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Dr. Brandon Manley: Physician, Scientist, Advocate

Dr. Brandon Manley: Physician, Scientist, Advocate

Brandon Manley, M.D., is a urologic oncologist who specializes in genitourinary oncology, with a focus on patients with kidney cancer. He currently practices at Moffitt Cancer Center in Tampa, Florida, where he lives with his wife Aimee, and his two daughters Sadie and Brooklyn. The family enjoys...

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Brandon Manley, M.D., is a urologic oncologist who specializes in genitourinary oncology, with a focus on patients with kidney cancer. He currently practices at Moffitt Cancer Center in Tampa, Florida, where he lives with his wife Aimee, and his two daughters Sadie and Brooklyn. The family enjoys...

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Dr. Brandon Manley: Physician, Scientist, Advocate

Dr. Brandon Manley: Physician, Scientist, Advocate

Brandon Manley, M.D., is a urologic oncologist who specializes in genitourinary oncology, with a focus on patients with kidney cancer. He currently practices at Moffitt Cancer Center in Tampa, Florida, where he lives with his wife Aimee, and his two daughters Sadie and Brooklyn. The family enjoys...

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Remembering Ralph: Time Well Spent

Remembering Ralph: Time Well Spent

Ralph Knapp was diagnosed in 2014 with stage IV kidney cancer and used the opportunity to increase research funding and bring hope to patients everywhere. With heavy hearts and profound sadness, we announce the passing of Ralph Knapp, a founder of KidneyCAN and leader of our mission to accelerate...