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.

It's not too late to join us for the next Town Hall event in our series! Learn about shared decision-making and your immunotherapy choices from leading oncologists. 
Register now: https://bit.ly/ImmunotherapyTownHall
#kidneycan #immunotherapy #townhall #livingwithcancer #cancerlife #kidneycancer #patienteducation

It's not too late to join us for the next Town Hall event in our series! Learn about shared decision-making and your immunotherapy choices from leading oncologists.

Register now: https://bit.ly/ImmunotherapyTownHall

#kidneycan #immunotherapy #townhall #livingwithcancer #cancerlife #kidneycancer #patienteducation
...

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It's not too late to register for our next Town Hall event! Learn about immunotherapy choices for #kidneycancer treatment from leading oncologists. We'll have Dr. Naomi Haas from Penn Medicine, Dr. Hans Hammers from UTSW, and Dr. Monty Pal from City of Hope. 
📅 Tues, April 26
🕔 5:00 PM EDT
💻 Free Webinar via Zoom
Register now! https://bit.ly/ImmunotherapyTownHall
#kidneycan #livingwithcancer #cancerlife #patienteducation #empoweredpatient #shareddecisionmaking

It's not too late to register for our next Town Hall event! Learn about immunotherapy choices for #kidneycancer treatment from leading oncologists. We'll have Dr. Naomi Haas from Penn Medicine, Dr. Hans Hammers from UTSW, and Dr. Monty Pal from City of Hope.

📅 Tues, April 26
🕔 5:00 PM EDT
💻 Free Webinar via Zoom

Register now! https://bit.ly/ImmunotherapyTownHall

#kidneycan #livingwithcancer #cancerlife #patienteducation #empoweredpatient #shareddecisionmaking
...

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Reminder! Our next patient education town hall will explore immunotherapy options for #kidneycancer patients. 
📅  April 26th
🕔 5:00 pm ET
💻 via Zoom webinar
Register here: https://bit.ly/ImmunotherapyTownHall
Featuring Drs. Naomi Haas of UPenn, Hans Hammers of UTSW, and Monty Pal of City of Hope. Join us to hear this panel of leading expert oncologists discuss how they share the immunotherapy decision-making process with their patients.

Reminder! Our next patient education town hall will explore immunotherapy options for #kidneycancer patients.

📅 April 26th
🕔 5:00 pm ET
💻 via Zoom webinar

Register here: https://bit.ly/ImmunotherapyTownHall

Featuring Drs. Naomi Haas of UPenn, Hans Hammers of UTSW, and Monty Pal of City of Hope. Join us to hear this panel of leading expert oncologists discuss how they share the immunotherapy decision-making process with their patients.
...

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Researchers! KidneyCAN is accepting abstracts for the 2022 Kidney Cancer Research Summit on October 6-7 in Philadelphia, PA. 
Don't miss the opportunity to be part of this incredible meeting for #kidneycancer specialists. 
Abstract submission guidelines and full details here: http://bit.ly/KCRS22Abstracts
#kidneycancerresearch #cancerresearch #kcsm

Researchers! KidneyCAN is accepting abstracts for the 2022 Kidney Cancer Research Summit on October 6-7 in Philadelphia, PA.

Don't miss the opportunity to be part of this incredible meeting for #kidneycancer specialists.

Abstract submission guidelines and full details here: http://bit.ly/KCRS22Abstracts

#kidneycancerresearch #cancerresearch #kcsm
...

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Another educational opportunity for #KidneyCancer patients! 
Learn from some of the nation's top doctors at Yale Cancer Center. Tomorrow night (Thursday) at 7:00 PM ET. 
Register: https://zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_1uI0atogTR2VKcFC_W78Fg

Another educational opportunity for #KidneyCancer patients!
Learn from some of the nation's top doctors at Yale Cancer Center. Tomorrow night (Thursday) at 7:00 PM ET.

Register: https://zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_1uI0atogTR2VKcFC_W78Fg
...

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Hear the latest in kidney cancer care, emerging therapies and general wellness from Dr. Thomas Hutson DO, Pharm.D., FACP of Texas Oncology and a panel of experts at @curetoday's Educated Patient® Kidney Cancer Summit on Saturday, April 9th . 
Connect with the kidney cancer community and empower your own journey! 
Learn more and reserve your virtual seat: 
http://ow.ly/weVJ50Ivtjy 
#educatedpatient #kidneycancer

Hear the latest in kidney cancer care, emerging therapies and general wellness from Dr. Thomas Hutson DO, Pharm.D., FACP of Texas Oncology and a panel of experts at @curetoday's Educated Patient® Kidney Cancer Summit on Saturday, April 9th .

Connect with the kidney cancer community and empower your own journey!

Learn more and reserve your virtual seat:
http://ow.ly/weVJ50Ivtjy

#educatedpatient #kidneycancer
...

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We continue to honor the caregivers in our community during #KidneyCancerAwareness month. Tracy shares her insightful perspective along with the decisions she and her wife Julie had to make when facing a diagnosis.
Read more:
https://kidneycan.org/tracys-story-a-caregivers-perspective/
#kidneycancer #caregiving #cancerlife #livingwithcancer #caregiving #KCAM

We continue to honor the caregivers in our community during #KidneyCancerAwareness month. Tracy shares her insightful perspective along with the decisions she and her wife Julie had to make when facing a diagnosis.

Read more:
https://kidneycan.org/tracys-story-a-caregivers-perspective/

#kidneycancer #caregiving #cancerlife #livingwithcancer #caregiving #KCAM
...

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Ralph Knapp, your community loves and remembers you. 
Thank you all for your messages of support. 
🧡💚✨

Ralph Knapp, your community loves and remembers you.

Thank you all for your messages of support.

🧡💚✨
...

34 1
With heavy hearts and profound sadness, we announce the passing of Ralph Knapp, a founder of KidneyCAN and leader of our mission to accelerate cures for kidney cancer. 
Ralph was diagnosed in 2014 with stage IV kidney cancer and used the opportunity to increase research funding and bring hope to patients everywhere. Ralph brought a unique energy and entrepreneurial acumen to kidney cancer advocacy, and despite his health challenges, was never without a smile and a hug for everyone. He was a model of faith and optimism, and our team will miss him enormously. 
We are committed to carrying Ralph's mission forward and will share more in the days to come.

With heavy hearts and profound sadness, we announce the passing of Ralph Knapp, a founder of KidneyCAN and leader of our mission to accelerate cures for kidney cancer.

Ralph was diagnosed in 2014 with stage IV kidney cancer and used the opportunity to increase research funding and bring hope to patients everywhere. Ralph brought a unique energy and entrepreneurial acumen to kidney cancer advocacy, and despite his health challenges, was never without a smile and a hug for everyone. He was a model of faith and optimism, and our team will miss him enormously.

We are committed to carrying Ralph's mission forward and will share more in the days to come.
...

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Remembering Ralph: Time Well Spent

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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...

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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...