Prostate Cancer Clinical Trials – Understanding the Types and Phases

June 27, 2012 by  
Filed under Prostate Cancer

The news that you or your loved one has prostate cancer could be devastating. This is more because of the thought of the cost, efforts, time or side effects associated with treatments.

Many treatment options are opened to you and there is no doubt that as each has advantages, it equally has some disadvantages which may affect your decision.

If you are already feeling overwhelmed and scary about prostate cancer and its treatment, there is still another option you may want to consider. This is the clinical trial option.

The following are some basic information that can help you understand prostate cancer clinical trials types and phases.

What clinical trials means

Clinical trials are research procedures of studies carried out doctors or experts in medicine to discover new and safe effective drugs, therapies, procedures and tools to prevent, diagnose, treat, and manage diseases. The risks and benefits of the new treatments are explored. For prostate cancer, there are hundreds of such trials being conducted, and they aim to help find the best ways to diagnose treat and manage the cancer that has originated from the prostate gland

Types of clinical trials for prostate cancer

Clinical trials take different forms depending on what is to be achieved. The four common types of clinical trials for prostate cancer include: Treatment trials, prevention trials, screening trials, and quality of life trials.

Treatment trials are conducted to test the effectiveness of new drug, therapies, surgeries or a combination of these options. Prevention trials are carried out to test new vitamins, medication, or lifestyle changes to prevent the onset of cancer of the prostate.

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Screening trials help to detect the best possible means of safely diagnosing prostate cancer at the early stages.

Phases of prostate cancer clinical trials

Many types of clinical trials are carried out in phases. The essence of this is to identify or examine how effective the new drug, diagnostic tool, or procedure is in benefiting the patient. The following phases apply to prostate cancer:

  • Phase I – In this phase, the new medication or treatment is tested on people for the very first time to determine its safety, side effects and the right dosages.
  • Phase II – This phase examines the safety and efficacy of the new treatment on a larger population. The difference between this phase and phase one is that it is carried out on a larger number of people.
  • Phase III – This phase compares the new drug or treatments or its effectiveness with available treatment standard. More data are gathered and the trials enroll a larger population in different locations.
  • Phase IV – This phase often continues after approvals of the treatment has been made by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). More so, the side effects and benefits on patients are evaluated after it has been marketed to consumers.

Conclusively, prostate cancer clinical trials are very important and can provide you with a lot of benefits.

You may want to participate in one of these today and take advantage of being one of the first beneficiaries of new effective treatments. There are still other benefits of participating in these trials, so it is important you take advantage these.

However, there are still some risk factors associated with these trials. Talk to your doctor and research the Internet for more details.

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