How a brain tumor clinical trial works
When you participate in a clinical trial, you’re getting access to the latest experimental therapies available. These voluntary brain cancer research studies help to test the safety and effectiveness of emerging treatments, which may include:
- Therapeutic procedures
- New ways of using existing treatments or devices
- New ways to reduce symptoms caused by brain tumors or treatment
Other clinical trials focus on improving quality of life for people who have a brain tumor. Ultimately, the knowledge gained from this type of brain cancer research helps to develop new standards of care beneficial to all patients.
All clinical trials conducted in the United States must adhere to a strict, predetermined protocol and must be approved and monitored by an Institutional Review Board (IRB) composed of physicians, scientists, statisticians and laypeople who are responsible for ensuring that any risks are minimal relative to the potential benefits of the study. Learn more about how cancer clinical trials work.
Participating in a brain tumor clinical trial
Not all patients are eligible to enroll, and each brain tumor clinical trial has its own guidelines for who can participate. These guidelines are in place to ensure the safety of trial participants and make sure the data we collect can be used to evaluate the trial’s effectiveness.
Typically, the decision to participate is made by your care team in conjunction with you and your family as part of your overall personalized treatment plan.
A heritage of brain cancer research
Since 1992, the research laboratories at the Hermelin Brain Tumor Center have made significant discoveries that increase our understanding of brain tumor processes. These efforts help us to develop effective ways to detect, diagnose, treat and prevent brain cancer and related conditions, including through new clinical trials. Ultimately, this strong focus on brain cancer research helps to advance the level of care for all of our patients.
In recent years, these advances have included identifying more than 40 genetic markers specific to brain tumors. In their quest, our researchers benefit from genetic fingerprinting made possible by the Center’s tumor bank — the third largest in the world, housing more than 3,000 brain tumor tissue samples as well as corresponding treatment and outcome data.