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Finding a clinical trial can be intimidating, but we are here to help you explore your options and help you prepare a list of trials to take to your doctor.

Use this Clinical Trial Finder by answering these simple questions to get a list of trial options that might be right for you. The list will also show which trials were most commonly pursued by patients with a similar cancer journey to yours.

Call our toll-free Helpline (877) 422-2030 with any questions about the list of clinical trials you receive or about your biomarker testing. We can help you understand how to discuss options with your doctor and which possibilities may be right for you.

Types of Clinical Trials

Treatment/Intervention Trials

Most cancer trials are treatment or interventional trials that involve people who have cancer. They are designed to answer specific questions about the effectiveness of a treatment, if it is safe, if the treatment prolongs life with fewer side effects and better quality of life, and if it prevents the cancer from coming back. These trials test many types of cancer treatments, including new drugs, vaccines, approaches to surgery or radiation therapy and combinations of treatments.

Supportive and Palliative Care Trials

These trials look at ways to improve quality of life in cancer patients, particularly those experiencing side effects from treatment. Some options might include medications to address physical side effects, nutritional interventions, and psychosocial options such as support groups or one-on-one support. These trials are aimed at patients or their caregivers needing help coping with cancer.

Prevention Trials

These trials usually involve healthy individuals, high-risk individuals, and those who have had cancer and have a high risk of developing a new cancer. Prevention trials look at cancer risk and ways to reduce the risk either by drugs to reduce the risk or behavior modifications such as diet and exercise. People in these studies are often followed for several years to determine the long-term effects on prevention.

Screening Trials

The goal of these trials is to find cancer early when it may be more treatable. A successful trial will reduce the number of deaths from the cancer being screened for.

Essential viewing

What is a clinical trial?

Why do a clinical trial?

Can I stop a clinical trial at any time?

What is the difference between a randomized trial and a placebo trial?

Are there risks in participating in clinical trials?

Frequently Asked Questions

  • What are clinical trials?

    Clinical trials are a type of medical research used to test cutting edge approaches for treating or diagnosing disease, including cancer. Trials give researchers, scientists, and clinical providers important information about the effectiveness of new treatments, vaccines, biologics, surgery and devices, leading to the development of promising options for patients. They can also look at new combinations of approved drugs and existing treatments. Clinical trials are the first point of testing new treatments in humans and the last point of testing prior to submission to the FDA for approval. Prior to clinical trials, experimental testing is conducted in the lab and in animals, usually for many years. Clinical trials may seek to discover new drugs, new ways of giving patients approved drugs or new combinations of approved drugs as well as new surgical techniques, devices or biological products. Clinical trial participation is always voluntary and usually conducted in different settings from clinical care.

  • How do cancer clinical trials differ from other clinical trials?

    Cancer trials differ slightly from other clinical trials because cancer trials ensure all participants get either the standard of care (SOC), which is already approved, or the experimental treatment. Placebos are not given in cancer clinical trials.

  • What are the risks and safeguards?

    Side effects are one potential risk of participating in a clinical trial; some may be serious or life-threatening.  You may not directly benefit from the trial and you may need to travel, depending on if a trail is available near you. While the clinical trial drug costs are covered by the research sponsor and routine procedures should be covered by your insurance company, you may want to find out what your insurance will cover that is not included in the trial.

    “Informed consent” is that process that protects patients by ensuring that the researchers fully inform participants about the benefits and risks of the trial. Patients are closely monitored for any potential problems. If a treatment shows negative results for most patients, it is discontinued. If a treatment is benefiting most patients, others in the trial may be switched to that beneficial treatment. Patients can leave the trial at any time for any reason and may resume the standard treatment or explore other clinical trials.

  • What are the benefits of participating in a clinical trial?

    There are many benefits to clinical trials, including access promising new treatments that may not be available elsewhere. Intensified cancer care that incorporates the latest advances with your current standard of care. Close monitoring by an expert team of research doctors, nurses, and other healthcare professionals. Getting to take an active role in your care and ultimately helping others by contributing to medical research.

Additional Resources

Clinical Trials 101

Clinical trials are research studies for which people volunteer to help find important answers to health questions. These unanswered medical questions may be about a specific treatment, about a treatment compared to another, or even about diagnosis or prevention.


Personalized Treatment Program

The Alliance and Perthera have partnered to provide personalized treatment options to stage III and IV patients with colorectal cancer. Using the power of artificial intelligence and data analysis, the program can improve treatment and save lives.

Learn more

Questions To Ask Your Doctor

You might want to talk to your doctor or medical team about clinical trial options as part of your treatment plan. It often helps to bring a family member or friend along for the discussion.


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