Cancer treatment for kidney, bladder, and prostate cancers can be effective when the disease is diagnosed in the early stages. As the cancer cells multiply and spread beyond the point of origin, eliminating cancer becomes increasingly difficult. Sometimes, patients with advanced cancer have already gone through surgery, and multiple rounds of chemotherapy and radiation therapy, only to discover that they still have cancer and they are out of treatment options. As distressing as this is, there may still be hope. A clinical trial gives patients another chance to become cancer-free.
Possible Benefits of Clinical Trials
A clinical trial tests emerging treatments that aren’t yet available to non-participants. Although there are no guarantees in medicine, it’s possible that this new treatment will help patients live longer. Even if the treatment doesn’t work, some patients take heart in the fact that they’ve contributed to cancer research, and that others may benefit from their contribution.
Potential Risks of Clinical Trials
The main risk with a clinical trial is that it won’t help. It’s also possible for the emerging cancer treatment to cause mild to severe side effects that may reduce the quality of life. Patients will likely need more visits to the urologist’s office, and these will subtract from the patients’ remaining time with his or her family.
Common Eligibility Criteria for Clinical Trials
Not everyone is eligible to join a clinical trial. The right set of circumstances has to exist. First, there must be a clinical trial available that involves a potential treatment for that particular type of cancer. That trial must still be accepting new study participants. Next, the patient must meet the specific eligibility criteria for that clinical trial. Some of the most common criteria are:
- Being within a certain age range
- Being diagnosed with a specific type and stage of cancer
- Having a certain medical history
- Demonstrating a specific health status
At Urology Associates, P.C., our Advanced Therapeutics Center is committed to saving lives with cutting-edge therapies, including those offered in clinical trials. Here, you’ll receive in-depth, personalized guidance on the cancer treatments available in Tennessee. Call 888-656-0667 for an appointment to discuss whether a clinical trial may be the right choice for you.