Clinical trials are research studies that test how well new medical approaches work in people. Individuals who take part in cancer clinical trials have an opportunity to contribute to knowledge of, and progress against, cancer. They also receive up-to-date care from experts.
Laura and Isaac Perlmutter Cancer Center scientists and physicians are studying novel cancer treatments with the aim of "translating" laboratory studies into effective treatments for people with cancer. Clinical trials are performed on a background of extensive study and understanding of disease in the laboratory that offers hope that a new treatment may be more effective than what has been available.
There are different types of clinical trials. Many of them evaluate the safety and effectiveness of novel treatment approaches, such as new drugs, new drug combinations, or new ways of giving radiation therapy. Other clinical trials assess innovative approaches to diagnosing or preventing cancer; explore the genetics of cancer; or survey patients with cancer about their quality of life.
Clinical trials are usually supported by funding from government agencies, medical institutions, foundations, volunteer groups, individuals, and pharmaceutical companies. Participation in a clinical trial is always voluntary. The nature of the trial and the possible side effects of the treatment are thoroughly explained to the patient, who must consent before a clinical trial begins. This procedure is called "informed consent," and is a critical part of the clinical trials process.
Additional Clinical Trials Resources
For more information about the clinical trials process, visit these pages on the website of the National Cancer Institute:
- Clinical Trials: Questions and Answers 
- Participating in a Clinical Trial: Questions to Ask Your Doctor 
- Other information about clinical trials 
- Taking Part In Cancer Treatment Research Studies 
Read additional information about clinical trials form the American Cancer Society .
Clinical Trials at Perlmutter Cancer Center
The Perlmutter Cancer Center is conducting many clinical trials to develop more effective approaches for managing cancer. For information on which studies are currently recruiting patients, please call the Clinical Trials Office at 212-263-4432.