A clinical trial is a research study that evaluates a new treatment and therefore offers treatments that might not otherwise be available.
Clinical trials are closely monitored studies that help scientists determine the safety and effectiveness of new therapies. The trials rely on the participation of patients, who volunteer to try the new or modified treatments. Every clinical trial has a protocol that describes exactly what will be done and why each part of the study is necessary.
Patients who take part in clinical trials contribute to our overall knowledge of multiple myeloma, and the research is done according to strict scientific standards.
All therapies that HCI investigates through clinical trials have been thoroughly researched in the laboratory. Laboratory results have given researchers reason to believe these treatments could prove to be more effective than current cancer therapies or will provide additional treatment options for cancer patients. Therefore, the next step is to study them in a clinical, rather than laboratory, setting.
Patients who take part in a clinical trial work with a research team that offers careful medical attention to participants. Team members may include doctors, nurses, social workers, dietitians, and other health care professionals. The team provides care, monitors participants' health, and offers specific instructions about the study.
Some clinical trials test experimental drugs. Others study already approved drugs with new delivery systems or in new combinations with other drugs or treatments.
It is our hope that medications tried in these studies might further prolong the duration of remission after a transplant. We see the newer drugs not as a replacement for transplantation, but as tools to further improve survival if used in combination with transplantation.
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