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Participating in Experimental Cancer Treatments Can Be Helpful For Some Late Stage Cancer Patients

February 17, 2012 | Comments: 0 | Views: 165

A cancer patient who has exhausted all the other forms of traditional treatment may often see an experimental cancer treatment as a last resort. Many times, these patients will be offered a chance to participate in some type of clinical trial for a new treatment protocol that relates specifically to their specific kind of cancer. Oncologists will often suggest clinical trials for stage four patients not necessarily as a way to affect a cure but to advance scientific knowledge as it advances in the field of cancer treatment.

Experimental cancer treatments are done for any new cancer drugs that are being considered as potential treatments. Anyone who is considering taking part in any type of drug trial should remember that any cancer drug that currently available first started out as an experimental drug. Every drug that ever enters the market must undergo a clinical trial as part of its approval by the Federal Drug Administration to determine its effectiveness and whether or not it causes significant side effects.

New drugs are discovered each day in research labs all over the United States. Because of the rigorous requirements of research and development, however, they take years before they are finally able to reach the market. Most of this time is taken up by the process of the trials they are subjected to during which they are given to humans so that physicians can evaluate their safety and effectiveness. In most cases, patients who are participating in a clinical trial are those who have no hope of a cure through a more traditional treatment. Every drug trial has three phases which must be passed before the drug can be approved by the FDA.

Currently trials are being conducted on cancer drugs that were developed using Clostridium novyi, an anaerobic bacteria which is capable of eating out the interior of an oxygen-poor tumor. Another clinical trial is also underway on a drug that was derived by using human breast milk and is being tested on people with certain types of skin cancer and some types of bladder cancer.

Anyone who has cancer and who is interested in taking part in a clinical trial should discuss it with their oncologist who will be able to advise them on the pros and cons of such a treatment protocol. He or she may even know about a trial that is being offered locally.

Taking part in a clinical trial is not for everyone. Patients may be exposed to drugs that have serious side effects that may cause problems for them. These drugs will seldom cause their cancer to worsen but may not do anything to help them get any better. It is really a matter of choice that needs to be discussed closely with their oncologist and family members.

Source: EzineArticles
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