You Are Here: Home > Cancer Research > How Cancer is Studied > Clinical Research >
CISN Summary

CISN Summary

A clinical trial is one of the final stages of a long and careful cancer research process.

The search for new treatments begins in the laboratory, where scientists first develop and test new ideas. If an approach seems promising, the next step may be testing a treatment in animals to see how it affects cancer in a living being and whether it has harmful effects.

Of course, treatments that work well in the lab or in animals do not always work well in people. Studies are conducted using cancer patients to find out whether promising treatments are safe and effective.


Patients who take part in a clinical trial:

  • May be helped personally.
  • May receive either a new treatment being tested or the best available standard treatment for their cancer.
  • May be among the first to benefit if a new treatment proves effective.
  • May benefit future patients
  • Get up-to-date care from cancer experts

However, new treatments:

  • May have unknown side effect risks
  • May be as good as / better than / or the same as standard care

In a survey of trials for children with cancer, it was found that those patients enrolled in trials were, on average, neither more likely to do better or worse than those having standard treatment. This example illustrates that success or failure of an experimental treatment cannot be predicted.


Our hope at CISN is that all patients are informed about clinical trials at the time of their cancer diagnosis.

Enrolling in a trial is an individual decision but quality care means having information about all of your options.



Personalized Medicine
Recently Diagnosed
Cancer 101
Latina Navigator Training





Site Design by: Cara M. Caloroso
CISN Home Page About Us Services CISN Home Page Contact Site Map CISN Home Page CISN Home Page