Learn About Clinical Trials

Many people think of clinical trials for cancer as a last resort for patients with advanced cancer or those who are not responding to traditional treatments. However, this is a myth. Clinical trials are available for patients with all stages of cancer and can be an effective way to get treatment.

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.

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.

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

I encourage everyone to learn more about clinical trials and ask your doctor about participation.

When you participate in a clinical trial, you are joining the front line against a disease. This is where treatments are tested and medical science advanced.

It’s where researchers learn what works. Clinical trials are vital to research.

– Brenda Knapp,
wife of kidney cancer patient

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

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.

Connect with Our Communities

There are multiple support groups serving the kidney cancer community.  SmartPatients.com is a patient forum and a KidneyCAN partner. We recommend this as a private, moderated  place to talk with other patients.  Your cancer center may also have their own support groups.

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.

Recently diagnosed with COVID-19? Bristol Myers Squibb's COVID treatment trial -- mAb Duo -- is now up and live on the NIH Rise Above COVID site for patients. This Phase 2 trial is for COVID-positive patients experiencing symptoms who are standard risk to progressing (not only high risk patients). The Phase 2 trial enrollment is now live in the US at 53 sites.

You may already know that we at KidneyCAN are big proponents for clinical trials. Here's why:

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.

Recently diagnosed with COVID-19? Bristol Myers Squibb's COVID treatment trial -- mAb Duo -- is now up and live on the NIH Rise Above COVID site for patients. This Phase 2 trial is for COVID-positive patients experiencing symptoms who are standard risk to progressing (not only high risk patients). The Phase 2 trial enrollment is now live in the US at 53 sites.

You may already know that we at KidneyCAN are big proponents for clinical trials. Here's why:

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.
...

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We’d love to have you for Kidney Cancer District Advocacy Days! 

You don’t need any prior experience or special skills. We provide you with training and a toolkit so that you can share your story with those who make decisions about research funding. 

You’ll help them understand the impact of kidney cancer on people’s lives and the urgent need for a cure. 

Join us and make your voice heard!

Register at https://kidneycan.org/2021-district-days/

We’d love to have you for Kidney Cancer District Advocacy Days!

You don’t need any prior experience or special skills. We provide you with training and a toolkit so that you can share your story with those who make decisions about research funding.

You’ll help them understand the impact of kidney cancer on people’s lives and the urgent need for a cure.

Join us and make your voice heard!

Register at https://kidneycan.org/2021-district-days/
...

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We’d love to have you for #KidneyCancer District Advocacy Days! You don’t need any prior experience or special skills. We provide you with training and a toolkit so that you can share your story with those who make decisions about research funding. You’ll help them understand the impact of kidney cancer on people’s lives and the urgent need for a cure. 

Join us and make your voice heard!

Register at https://kidneycan.org/2021-district-days/

We’d love to have you for #KidneyCancer District Advocacy Days! You don’t need any prior experience or special skills. We provide you with training and a toolkit so that you can share your story with those who make decisions about research funding. You’ll help them understand the impact of kidney cancer on people’s lives and the urgent need for a cure.

Join us and make your voice heard!

Register at https://kidneycan.org/2021-district-days/
...

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Did you miss our LIVE viewing of "Kidney Cancer: Getting Back on Track After Treatment"? You can still watch the segment here!

https://fb.watch/v/HbgmOw6J/

Did you miss our LIVE viewing of "Kidney Cancer: Getting Back on Track After Treatment"? You can still watch the segment here!

https://fb.watch/v/HbgmOw6J/
...

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Patients and caregivers! Can you give a couple of hours to tell your congressperson we need their support for #kidneycancer research?

We'll be making advocacy calls August 9-10th. You will not make this call alone! We give you training, support, and a script. Members of our advocacy team will be with you at every step!

A call or virtual visit means so much more than a letter. This is how we work to #fundthecure! 

Register at https://kidneycan.org/2021-district-days/

Patients and caregivers! Can you give a couple of hours to tell your congressperson we need their support for #kidneycancer research?

We'll be making advocacy calls August 9-10th. You will not make this call alone! We give you training, support, and a script. Members of our advocacy team will be with you at every step!

A call or virtual visit means so much more than a letter. This is how we work to #fundthecure!

Register at https://kidneycan.org/2021-district-days/
...

8 0
An informed patient is an empowered patient!

Did you catch our June newsletter? Don't miss these important research updates and upcoming events for #kidneycancer patients and caregivers. 

https://conta.cc/3xW05sK

An informed patient is an empowered patient!

Did you catch our June newsletter? Don't miss these important research updates and upcoming events for #kidneycancer patients and caregivers.

https://conta.cc/3xW05sK
...

7 1
"Hope can be a powerful medicine."

Thank you, Dr. Wilson, for talking to us about your research, advocacy, and hope for patients! 

https://kidneycan.org/dr-john-t-wilson-a-lot-of-reason-to-hope/

"Hope can be a powerful medicine."

Thank you, Dr. Wilson, for talking to us about your research, advocacy, and hope for patients!

https://kidneycan.org/dr-john-t-wilson-a-lot-of-reason-to-hope/
...

12 0
On August 9-10th, the #kidneycancer community will speak as #onevoice to ask Congress to fund kidney cancer #research for the Congressionally Directed Medical Research Program and the National Institutes of Health. 

Don’t miss this opportunity to share your story and let Congress know how kidney cancer has impacted your life. You do not need advocacy experience, just a passion for fighting kidney cancer!

Register at https://kidneycan.org/2021-district-days/

On August 9-10th, the #kidneycancer community will speak as #onevoice to ask Congress to fund kidney cancer #research for the Congressionally Directed Medical Research Program and the National Institutes of Health.

Don’t miss this opportunity to share your story and let Congress know how kidney cancer has impacted your life. You do not need advocacy experience, just a passion for fighting kidney cancer!

Register at https://kidneycan.org/2021-district-days/
...

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There's still time for #kidneycancer patients and caregivers to complete the global health survey and receive a personalized snapshot of your emotional wellbeing. This can be a valuable tool for you to use when talking with your care team about your overall health. 

On #WorldKidneyCancerDay, we are talking about #mentalhealth. We want you to know you're not alone, and there are resources that can help you if you're one of the 96% of kidney cancer patients or caregivers who struggle with the psychological impact of cancer. 

Use this link to get started: http://bit.ly/WKCD-mental-health-survey

There's still time for #kidneycancer patients and caregivers to complete the global health survey and receive a personalized snapshot of your emotional wellbeing. This can be a valuable tool for you to use when talking with your care team about your overall health.

On #WorldKidneyCancerDay, we are talking about #mentalhealth. We want you to know you're not alone, and there are resources that can help you if you're one of the 96% of kidney cancer patients or caregivers who struggle with the psychological impact of cancer.

Use this link to get started: http://bit.ly/WKCD-mental-health-survey
...

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KidneyCAN is a registered 501(c)(3) nonprofit and does not receive any funding through the Congressionally Directed Medical Research Programs (CDMRP) or KCRP (Kidney Cancer Research Program). Our work is funded by grassroots donors in the kidney cancer community. 

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