Clinical Trials Home

Why Clinical Trials?

What are Clinical Trials?

 
 
 
Survey Results

Myths vs. Reality

Is Research Right for You?

 
 
 
Heroes of Cancer Research

Resources

 
 
 
Glossary

Government Approval

In the United States, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is responsible for making sure that new drugs are safe and effective before they are marketed to the public. The FDA must approve all new drugs based on a complete analysis of the results of clinical studies which prove that the drug works. Drugs that are already approved which will be used in new ways must also be approved by the FDA9. The FDA also enforces standards for conducting studies.
With clinical trials, cancer patients have an opportunity to use a new treatment — often many years before it is generally available to the public.
Clinical trials must prove that a drug works before it is approved for use. Since these drugs are not yet on the market, cancer patients have an opportunity to use a new treatment — often many years before it is generally available to the public. Clinical trials were once thought of as a last resort for people who had no further treatment options, but today in some cases, they can even be the first treatments for people with cancer10. If you participate in a study and the new treatment is proven effective, you will be among the first people to benefit from it.