Clinical Trials

Clinical trials are extremely important to cancer patients, who may have exhausted all other forms of treatment, yet still have active disease.

Dr. Neil Hayes discusses treatment with a patientAdvances in health care are impossible without human testing. Whether a treatment is a vitamin, a cancer drug, a surgical procedure, a new way to detect disease or a medical device, at some point it has to be tested on people.

Human studies, or clinical trials, are sponsored or funded by a variety of sources such as physicians, hospitals, foundations, pharmaceutical companies, voluntary or advocacy groups, universities and government agencies. Ideas for clinical trials usually come from researchers. These researchers will test new therapies or procedures in the laboratory and in animal studies, and the most promising results move on to clinical trials.

Clinical trials are extremely important to cancer patients, who may have exhausted all other forms of treatment, yet still have active disease. These patients can find hope in new treatments offered only through clinical trials and satisfaction in the fact that their participation in a clinical trial may lead to safer, more effective treatments for future patients.

Search for a clinical trial using these categories:

Choosing to participate in a clinical trial is an important personal decision. Carefully conducted clinical trials are the fastest and safest way to find whether new drugs or treatments are both safe and effective. Participants in clinical trials can play a more active role in their own health care, gain access to new research treatments before they are widely available, and help others by contributing to medical research. All clinical trials have guidelines about who can participate. Researchers use protocols with defined criteria to identify appropriate participants and maintain safety standards.

We have ongoing clinical trials for cancer treatment and prevention. For more information about UNC trials for any cancer site, please call 919-966-4432 or (toll free) 1-877-668-0683.

In addition to the trials developed at UNC there are national trials that you can learn about by visiting the National Cancer Institute website at cancertrials.nci.nih.govIcon indicating that a link will open an external site. or the National Institutes of Health website at clinicaltrials.gov Icon indicating that a link will open an external site..  For commonly asked questions about clinical trials see Understanding Clinical TrialsIcon indicating that a link will open an external site.

The National Cancer InstituteIcon indicating that a link will open an external site. has produced a brochure to help patients understand the details of Taking Part in Cancer Treatment Research Studies. Icon indicating link that will launch an Adobe pdf file

The National Cancer InstituteIcon indicating that a link will open an external site. has also produced a set of videos that discuss the decision to participate in a clinical trial.

Participating In Cancer Clinical Trials: Part 1 - What You Need To Know An icon indicating that content may be viewed on YouTube (TM).

Participating In Cancer Clinical Trials: Part 2 - Making Your Decision An icon indicating that content may be viewed on YouTube (TM).