The decision to enroll in a clinical trial
should involve a discussion between the person with breast cancer and that individual’s physician. Participation in a trial will depend on many factors, including the motivation for enrolling in a trial, the type of breast cancer, the trials available, and the stage of the breast cancer.
Different Types of Breast Cancer Studies
There are many different reasons as to why researchers conduct breast cancer clinical trials. These can include:
- Testing a therapy, such as a drug or other medical intervention, for treating existing breast cancer. These are known as interventional trials.
- Finding ways to stop the development of breast cancer, for example through lifestyle changes, diet or medications. These are called prevention trials.
- Evaluating ways to better diagnose breast cancer. These are referred to as diagnostic and screening trials.
- Studying breast cancer in a large group of people to better understand it as a health issue. This is known as an observational trial or a non-interventional study.
- Examining ways to improve the comfort and quality of life for people with breast cancer. These are often called supportive care trials or quality of life trials.
In the case of new treatments (interventional trials), three separate trial phases are required by U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), or if the trial is not in the United States, those phases are required by the equivalent governing bodies of the country the trial is being conducted in.
Some Current Areas of Breast Cancer Interventional Studies
Interventional trials are the most common type of clinical tr