Skip to main content


Talking About Clinical Trials (TACT)

Clinical trials save lives. They drive innovation. Cancer clinical trials improve the quality of care for future generations. But for patients and caregivers fighting cancer, they can also be yet another frightening unknown.

Our TACT Support Volunteers have each been through a clinical trial (some, more than one) – and are here to share their insights, experience and a listening ear.

Our partners at Clara provide a user-friendly way to access breakthrough trials - and expert assistance along the way.

What are clinical trials?

Clinical trials are research studies that investigate how effective a medical treatment or device is for treating a condition.

Clinical trials show us what works in medicine and healthcare. These studies are required in the pathway to develop any new treatments for diseases. Every medication currently available was once available only in a clinical trial.

What kinds of trials are there?

Observational Trials:

  • Allow researchers to follow a patient’s health to learn more about a condition.
  • Patients generally continue their current treatment.
  • An example of an observational trial would be a patient tracking their symptoms daily in a journal.

Interventional Trials:

  • These test new treatments or devices, or new ways of using existing treatments.
  • Interventional trials offer patients the opportunity to access treatments not yet available through standard care.

What do the phases mean?

Common misconceptions

  • How placebos are used: While some trials do use a placebo, in an interventional trial, often times patients are either given the new treatment or the current standard of care. Either way, the research team will always fully inform you how the study works ahead of time.
  • All trials test newly developed treatments: Not all trials test brand new treatments. Some trials are observational and simply work to collect information to inform research down the line. Other trials may test treatments that have already been FDA approved for another condition, but are looking to be approved in additional diseases.
  • Only drugs are tested in trials: Clinical trials don’t just test drugs. They test devices such as insulin pumps or health trackers as well.

Why should myself or my loved one consider participating in a trial?

  • Be empowered with knowledge: It’s important to empower yourself with knowledge of all the treatment options at your disposal. Clinical trials can offer access to cutting edge therapies to treat your condition.
  • Exhausted treatment options: If you have tried and failed approved treatment options, clinical trials can be great next step to consider.
  • Be a hero: Patients and healthy participants that participate in trials are not only potentially helping themselves, but also may be helping to save the lives of those who will be diagnosed in the future.

How do I find the right trial for me or my loved ones?

We are proud to work with Clara Health, who provides patients and caregivers with personalized navigation through every step of the trial process. From transportation and lodging to reimbursement, their guides are full of helpful information. Learn more from their guides or sign up to be matched with the best treatment options for you. Clara is always free to use, and maintains a record of every trial in the United States or being run by a US based company.

Connect me with a volunteer
First Name *
Last Name *
The best time to call me is
My time zone is
What is the best way to reach you?
© 2022 Cancer Hope Network

Powered by Firespring