What is a clinical trial?

A clinical trial is a research study that tests different ways of improving people's health.  Clinical trials aim to find out if new treatments or procedures are safe and effective.  All new drugs are tested in the laboratory first before being tested on people If a trial proves that a test or treatment is better than existing options, it may become the new standard care for patients. 

Specialists may recommend a suitable study for those affected by cancer. The Victorian Cancer Trials Link provides a searchable database of the cancer clinical trials being conducted in Victoria and lists all treatment centres involved. Trials can be found by searching on the specific diagnosis and treatment situation.

Cancer clinical trials are designed to test new ways to:

  • treat cancer
  • find and diagnose cancer
  • prevent cancer
  • manage symptoms of cancer or side effects from its treatment

More information on clinical trials in Australia, including those currently underway, can be viewed at the Australian Clinical Trials website hosted by the Department of Health's National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC).

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