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When Should I Consider Clinical Trials?

Dr. Leena Gandhi

The concept of clinical trials may seem daunting but when it comes down to it, they are the best way researchers have to test new strategies, treatments or devices to find out if they are safe and effective. Clinical trials may be appropriate for some people with lung cancer–and it’s always worth checking with your oncologist to see whether you are eligible – but they aren’t right for everyone.

Considerations include the specific characteristics and stage of your cancer and your medical history (including past treatments for cancer), as well as the potential risks and benefits of this trial in your specific case. The National Cancer Institute lists all cancer trials here.

There are currently a number of factors that might exclude you from a clinical trial. These include being younger than 18, having HIV or organ dysfunction or having cancer that has metastasized to the brain. Efforts are currently underway to eliminate or modify these exclusions.

Learn more about SurvivorNet's rigorous medical review process.

Dr. Leena Gandhi most recently served as Director of Thoracic Medical Oncology at NYU Perlmutter Cancer Center. Read More