A surge in brain tumor research is yielding promise through medical studies called clinical trials. Now in development are targeted drugs that seek out gene mutations linked to tumor growth, vaccines that retrain the immune system to fight cancer, new and specific biomarkers, gene therapy, enhanced imaging tests, genetic research and more supportive care options to reduce symptoms.
Treatment-focused clinical studies test the safety and effectiveness of new or improved medical approaches, interventions and drugs. They may offer you access to leading-edge treatments not yet widely available. Standard therapies used today to treat brain and spinal cord tumors were once experimental treatments in these research studies.
During a clinical trial, the safety of all participants is top priority. The U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA), the Data and Safety Monitoring Board and Institutional Review Boards dictate strict safety measures to protect participants. Additionally, the Informed Consent document you’ll receive before starting the trial will describe its safeguards. The form provides comprehensive information on the purpose of the study, your role, the treatment being investigated, benefits and risks, potential side effects and other details. Go over the form carefully and ask questions. Before you sign, contact your health insurance provider so you’ll be aware of any out-of-pocket costs. Signing the form won’t lock you into the study. You can choose to leave at any time, for any reason, and receive standard of care treatment.
Talk with your doctor to see if a clinical trial is a treatment option for you.