About Clinical Trials
UC Davis is home to a large clinical trials network. Clinical trials help cancer researchers understand complex diseases and develop new treatments and medications to help manage them. For patients, clinical trials can present an opportunity to access the newest and most advanced treatments before they are widely available.
Cancer patients may decide to participate in clinical trials because they hope for a cure, a longer lifespan, an improved quality of life or because they want to benefit other cancer patients in the future.
The trials are designed to offer the best possible patient care while answering specific medical questions: Is a promising investigational drug effective? Does a newly-approved drug work even better with an older drug?
Before a new treatment is tested in a clinical trial, it undergoes extensive laboratory testing, often for many years. Only the most promising new treatments make it to clinical trials.
Some things to know about clinical trials
- Leading physicians in the field of cancer research oversee patient care in clinical trials.
- The doctors and nurses in charge of a clinical trial follow a carefully designed treatment plan known as a protocol, which spells out exactly what will be done and why, and how patients will be protected.
- Protocols are approved by a review board of scientists, doctors, community members,and representatives of special groups of subjects. This ensures a complete and comprehensive review. The board carefully considers whether potential risks of a trial are reasonable in relation to the potential benefits.
- Before a patient consents to participate in a clinical trial, he or she receives extensive information about the potential risks and benefits.
- During clinical trials, patients receive close monitoring of their health care and any side effects.
- If it becomes clear during a clinical trial that one treatment is better than another, the trial is stopped so that all patients receive the treatment. The patients in the trial are the first to benefit.
- A trial will be stopped early if an experimental treatment is found to be ineffective or harmful.
- Patients can leave a clinical trial at any time and discuss other treatment options with their physician.
Learn more about clinical trials
For more information about cancer clinical trials through the UC Davis Cancer Care Network, please visit the UC Davis Comprehensive Cancer Center’s
clinical trials web page.
For additional information on pediatric clinical trials, call (916) 734-2780.
For additional information on adult clinical trials, call (916) 734-3089.