What are clinical trials?
Clinical trials are medical studies that involve normal people like you and me.
They’re used to develop new treatments for many different types of cancer by looking at:
• Screening people – who has a higher risk of cancer?
• The risks and causes of cancer – what lifestyle choices, genetics, and other factors affect our chances of having cancer?
• Cancer prevention – which lifestyle changes or medication can reduce our risk?
• Cancer diagnosis – which new technologies can detect cancer earlier?
• Treatments – what new types of medication can help?
• Side-effects of treatment – how can we control these?
How does a clinical trial work?
Medicines move from being ‘experimental’ to ‘standard’ along a clinical ‘pathway’ that’s checked and regulated at every stage. Clinical trials are categorised based on how much research has already been carried out.
Phase I trials
We don’t ask our patients to take part in Phase 1 trials that haven’t been tested on people before. But you may be able to take part in a trial for a drug that’s previously been used to treat another condition, so we’re confident that it’s safe. Taking part will help us understand whether this drug can help patients with your type of cancer.
Phase II trials
These focus on how effective the drug is at treating your type of cancer. As with Phase I trials, Phase II trials are classed as ‘early phase’.
Phase III trials
These involve larger patient groups. A new drug is compared to the current ‘gold standard’ treatment. These trials are sometimes known as ‘late phase’ clinical trials.
Will taking part in a trial work for me?
A clinical trial might be a good option if:
• You’ve already tried the standard treatments for your type of cancer. A clinical trial offers the chance that a new drug treatment could work better
• You’re already on a standard treatment – taking a new type of medication might have extra beneficial effects
• You’re not obliged in any way to take part in a clinical trial, it’s always your decision. You’ll be able to talk about all your options with your doctor
GenesisCare in Australia
We currently have over 20 centres across five states in Australia, running clinical trials for the following types of cancer:
• Head and neck
We work with leading research organisations including:
• TROG – Trans Tasman Radiation Oncology Group
• Breast Cancer Trials
• AGITG – Australasian Gastro Intestinal Trials Group
• ANZUP – Australian and New Zealand Urogenital and Prostate Cancer Trials Group
• ANZMTG – Australian and New Zealand Melanoma Trials Group
We also partner with public and private hospitals in Victoria, Western Australia, New South Wales, Queensland and South Australia. If you’d like to find out more about our current clinical trials, talk to your GenesisCare radiation oncologist or contact your closest GenesisCare location.