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Mercy Women's Care at St. Anne
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Toledo, OH 43623

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Clinical Trials Seen as Beneficial for Patients

separator When your cancer treatments are no longer beneficial to you, should you take part in a clinical trial? Many people have the idea that clinical trials offer little more than false hope to patients who have few options left. But a new study has shown that clinical trials can be more helpful to patients than experts previously believed. 

Results of clinical trials can vary widely, of course. But the study, which comprised 11,935 participants and 480 tests, showed that

  • About 3 percent of patients experienced a disappearance of their cancer
  • 8 percent experience substantial shrinkage of tumors
  • About 34 percent experienced stabilization of their disease or some degree of tumor shrinkage
  • Many patients say that their quality of life is improved because they have not given up.

Patients saw the highest responses when they took part in trials that combined already-approved drugs with experimental drugs, or when they took approved drugs in experimental doses.

New England Journal of Medicine, 3 March 2005.
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