Across the country doctors are conducting several types of clinical trials (research studies in which people volunteer to take part). These clinical trials study new ways to prevent, detect, diagnose, and treat many types of cancer. Some of these clinical trials study therapies that may improve the quality of life for patients during or after cancer treatment.
Clinical trials are intended to help doctors answer vital questions and to discover whether new approaches are safe and effective. This research has helped doctors advance in many different areas of cancer treatments. This research will continue to search for better and more effective methods to deal with cancer.
Patients who join clinical trials could be some of the first to benefit if the new treatment advancement is effective. And even if people in a trial do not benefit directly, they still make a significant contribution by helping doctors learn more about all types of cancer and how to control it. Although clinical trials may pose some risks, everything to protect the patient is considered.
If you are interested in being part of a clinical trial, talk with our doctors. Trials are offered for all stages of cancer. You may want to read the National Cancer Institute booklet: Taking Part in Cancer Treatment Research Studies. It explains how clinical trials are carried out and explains their possible benefits and risks. NCI’s Web site includes a section on clinical trials at: http://www.cancer.gov/clinicaltrials. It has general information about clinical trials as well as detailed information about specific ongoing studies of cancer.
Investigational Anti-PD-1 Immunotherapy Drug – MK-3475 – U.S. Expanded Access Program
On March 10, 2014, Merck initiated an Expanded Access Program (EAP) in the U.S. for MK-3475, the company’s investigational anti-PD-1 immunotherapy, for patients with advanced melanoma who have been previously treated with ipilimumab and, if indicated, a BRAF inhibitor.