Clinical Trials

The promise for melanoma treatment lies in clinical trials where new agents are tried out in scientific fashion. We at Melanoma International will help you find the best clinical trial to fit your needs by discussing all options and locations of trials. Please contact us on our helpline: 866-463-6663 or email cpoole@melanomainternational.org for assistance. Also, please check our webinars and forum for the latest information on clinical trials for melanoma. You can do some research on your own by going to the sources listed at the end of this article. Here is some general information on how clinical trials operate.

Phase 1

Tests for toxicity & uses increasing doses to find the best dose

Phase 2

Has passed the toxicity and is being tested for effectiveness

Phase 3

Compares the new agent against standard treatment

You can call our hotline for a personalized matching service.

Here are some valuable questions to ask before enrolling in a trial:

  1. What is the purpose of this study? Who is sponsoring it? How is it reviewed for safety?
  2. What kinds of tests and treatments must I go through?
  3. What are the potential side-effects? Get specific details about how the drug is administered and what any relevant studies to date have shown about side-effects.
  4. Will some participants receive a placebo and others get the real thing? Many studies are set up to determine how pa¬≠tients who receive the treatment do by comparison with those who receive nothing. Also, many trials are “double-blind”: neither the doctor nor the patient knows what the pa¬≠tient is getting.
  5. Will my insurance pay for this, or the pharmaceutical company? How about housing or travel costs are they reimbursed?
  6. What happens once the trial is over? Will there be follow up? Will I be told the results of the study?

Please be aware that you can leave the trial at any time. Also, if it is clear that you are getting worse, the trial will end for you.

Here are some links to search for trials.

Cancer Trials Support Unit
The Cancer Trials Support Unit (CTSU) is an NCI funded program to facilitate participation (by both patients and physicians) in phase III NCI sponsored Cancer treatment trials.

Eastern Oncology Cooperative Group
A source of current oncology research trials.

ClinicalTrials.gov
National Institutes of Health search site for clinical trials, and one of the best search engines for finding a clinical trial nationally or internationally

ClinicalTrialsRegister.eu
European source for clinical trials

Source: National Cancer Institute