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Glossary

Advanced Oncology Certified Nurse (AOCN®)

a registered nurse who has attained oncology nursing certification at the advanced level.

Certified Pediatric Oncology Nurse (CPON®)

a registered nurse who has attained certification in pediatric oncology nursing.

Clinical trials

research studies that test new treatments such as new drugs, new combinations of drugs, or new methods of giving drugs.

Informed consent

a required process that informs research participants of details about the treatments and tests they may receive and the possible benefits and risks of these treatments and tests. A consent form must be signed before starting in a clinical trial and again if any changes are made to the protocol during the trial.

Institutional Review Board (IRB)

a board composed of medical professionals, members of the community, ethicists, and patient advocates that reviews the trial protocol to make sure that the research conducted will not expose patients to extreme or unethical risks.

Medical oncologist

a doctor who treats cancer with drugs and is a valued member of your treatment team.

Oncology nurse

a registered nurse with special education and training in cancer care and a valued member of your treatment team.

Oncology certified nurse (OCN®)

a registered nurse who has attained oncology nursing certification at the basic level.

Placebo

a pill that resembles the experimental drug but has no active ingredient and therefore no medical effect on the body or disease.

Protocol

the plan that explains what will be done in a research study and why.

Stage

the process that tells doctors how much cancer there is in the body and where it is located.

Phase I trials

establish the right drug dose and measure any side effects, or toxicities, of the treatment.

Phase II trials

look at the effectiveness of the treatment against cancer and examine side effects.

Phase III trials

test the effectiveness and side effects of a new drug, combination of drugs or procedure in a larger patient group. This phase usually requires a large number of participants.

Phase IV trials

evaluate a currently available marketed drug for possible new uses, new doses, schedules of administration, etc.

Radiation therapy oncologist

doctor who treats cancer with radiation and is a valued member of your treatment team.

Surgical oncologist

surgeon who specializes in performing surgery on cancer patients and is a valuable member of your treatment team.

Tumor

the uncontrolled growth of cells which is either cancerous (malignant) or non-cancerous (benign).