When faced with a decision about participating in a cancer trial,
whether a clinical trial or a prevention trial, the most important thing
you can do is educate yourself about what exactly they are, how they are
conducted, and how they effect the patients participating in them.
There are some important differences between clinical and prevention
trials. First, and most obvious, prevention trial participants are not
current cancer patients, though they may have once had cancer.
Therefore, the purpose of the prevention trial is in it�s name:
prevention, whereas clinical trials may focus more on the treatment of
current cancer patients.
Unlike clinical trials, prevention trials fall into two categories:
action studies and agent studies. Action studies focus on how lifestyle
choices, like exercise and smoking cessation can prevent cancer. In an
agent prevention trial, medication, vitamins, minerals or other
supplements may be administered to test if they might lower the risk of
certain types of cancer.
Though the purpose of prevention trials are quite different from that
of clinical trials, many of the guidelines that govern these two types
of studies are similar. We encourage you to visit the
ABC�S OF CLINICAL
TRIALS section of this website, where a wealth of information exists
about trials in general.