These tips and resources will help you locate clinical trials and studies enrolling people like you.

Searching treatment studies

Image showing 6 phases of clinical trialsPeople who have been diagnosed with cancer may be interested in participating in a clinical trial for treating their cancer or keeping it from returning after treatment. Our Research Search and Enroll Tool can find studies by cancer stage, type, subtype, and keyword. stYou can refine your search to look for additional study features. See below for tips on searching for treatment studies.

If you need help understanding research terminology and abbreviations, visit our list of definitions. If you would like assistance using our Research Study Search Tool to look for treatment clinical trials, our Peer Navigation Program can match you with a trained volunteer who can help you.


Before you search

Every patient has the right to know about all of their options for care, including clinical trials and research. Your doctor may not be aware of all the research opportunities available to you, especially if she practices at a hospital or facility that is not enrolling patients in a study. Be sure to inform your doctor before and after enrolling in a study, even if he did not recommend a study to you. Your doctor may have important insights, questions or recommendations about your participation. 


Medical information you may need

It is helpful to have your medical records, especially your pathology report on hand as you search for treatment clinical trials. 

Some studies require tissue samples for participation. You may need to order your tissue samples from the hospital that performed your surgery. Some studies require that you have an additional biopsy. Check the study listing or call the contact person to learn about the tissue sample requirements for the study.

You have a right to all of your medical information, lab test results, and even tumor samples if available. Most healthcare systems keep these records in electronic form and make them available to patients online, through a patient portal. Some healthcare systems do not make reports automatically available on their patient portal. You may have to speak with your doctor before receiving your test results or other records.

If you request print copies of your records, health care providers are allowed to charge a nominal fee. However, most healthcare systems do not charge a fee for records that are used for continuation of care. 


Beginning your search

  • Cancers can be categorized by the organ or area of the body where the cancer started. Our tool searches for studies on the most common cancers seen within our community. Click on each cancer type listed below to view specific tips for searching these studies in our Research Search Tool. 
  • Cancer stage
    • Cancers can also be categorized by stage. Stage refers to a set of criteria that experts use to determine how far a cancer has spread in order to recommend the best treatment for a patient. Cancer treatment clinical trials are often open only to people with a particular cancer stage. A common misconception is that treatment clinical trials are only for people who have very advanced cancers and have no further treatment options. In fact, there are treatment clinical trials for every stage of cancer and at all points on the treatment continuum.
  • Other cancer features
    • Other features that guide treatment may also affect who can enroll in a clinical trial. These include:
      • newly diagnosed cancer versus cancer that has recurred after treatment
      • cancer that responds to certain treatments like platinum or hormonal therapies versus cancer that is resistant
      • genetic test or tumor marker results


Study features

Study design describes different features of a clinical trial, including:

  • whether participants will be divided into different groups or there will be only one group of participants who all receive the same treatment.
  • the number of patient groups (if there is more than one).
  • how patients are assigned to each group (e.g., a randomized study that assigns patients to each group by chance or a non-randomized study in which the patient, doctor or situation determines the patient's placement in a group).
  • what type of treatment or intervention each group will receive. 

Study phase is often used in research for new treatments

  • Phase I trials usually involve a small number of patients to evaluate safety and optimal dosing of a new drug.
  • Phase II trials test the safety and efficacy of a new drug.
  • Phase III trials involve more participants and compare new drugs to current standard treatments. Participants are usually randomly assigned to the group that receives standard treatment or the group that receives the new treatment. 


Searching breast cancer treatment studies

Our Research Study Search Tool helps you find breast cancer studies by:

  • Subtypes:
    • Triple-negative
    • Hormone positive
    • Her2neu positive
  • Stage:
    • Stage 0 (Ductal Carcinoma In Situ)
    • Stage I
    • Stage II
    • Stage III
    • Stage IV (metastatic)
  • Genetic test results
    • Some breast cancer studies are open to people with an inherited mutation associated with increased cancer risk, including BRCA1BRCA1, BRCA2BRCA2, PALB2, ATM and other genesPALB2
      CH.
  • Keyword search
    • You can also add a keyword to narrow your search results. Keywords may include the type of treatment, e.g., surgery, radiation, or lymph node mapping. You can also search by a class of drug, e.g., PARP inhibitor or immunotherapy, or by the name of a drug, e.g., metformin or olaparib.


Searching ovarian cancer treatment studies

Search ovarian cancer treatment studies in our matching tool by:

  • Treatment timing:
    • Newly diagnosed
    • Recurrent
  • Genetic test results
    • Ovarian cancer studies are open to people with an inherited mutation associated with increased cancer risk, including BRCA1, BRCA2, Lynch SyndromeBRIP1, RAD51C, RAD51D, STK11 and other genesRAD51D.
  • Keyword search
    • Add a keyword to narrow your search results. Examples of keywords may include the type of treatment e.g., surgery or intraperitoneal chemotherapy. You can also search by the class of drug, e.g., PARP inhibitor or immunotherapy, or the name of a drug, e.g., Avastin or olaparib.


Searching pancreatic cancer treatment studies

You can search pancreatic cancer treatment studies in our matching tool by:

  • Surgical stage:
    • Resectable
    • Borderline resectable
    • Unresectable
    • Metastatic
  • Genetic test results
    • Some pancreatic cancer studies are open to people with an inherited mutation linked to increased cancer risk, including BRCA1, BRCA2 and other genes such as ATM, PALB2, STK11 and Lynch syndrome genesTP53.
  • Keyword search
    • Add a keyword to narrow down your search results. Examples of keywords may include the type of treatment, e.g., surgery or radiation. You can also search by keywords using the class of drug, e.g., PARP inhibitor or immunotherapy, or the name of a drug, e.g., olaparib, Metformin or Avastin.


Searching prostate cancer treatment studies

You can search prostate cancer treatment studies in our matching tool by:

  • Treatment timing:
    • Newly diagnosed
    • Recurrent
  • Castration sensitivity (whether or not the cancer responds to surgery or drugs to block testosterone
    • Castration sensitive
    • Castration resistant
  • Genetic test or tumor test results
    • Some prostate cancer studies are open to people with an inherited mutation associated with cancer risk including BRCA1, BRCA2, ATM, CHEK2, and NBN or a genetic marker in their tumor.
  • Keyword search
    • Add a keyword to narrow your search results. Examples of keywords may include the type of treatment, e.g., surgery or radiation. You can also search by keywords using the class of drug, e.g., PARP inhibitor or immunotherapy, or the name of a drug, e.g., olaparib rucaparibor Xtandi.


Searching melanoma treatment studies

You can search melanoma treatment studies in our matching tool by:

  • Surgical stage:
    • Metastatic
    • Early stage
    • Locally advanced
  • Genetic test or tumor test results
    • Some melanoma cancer studies are open to people with an inherited mutation associated with cancer risk including BRCA1 and BRCA2 or a genetic marker like BRAF in their tumor.
  • Keyword search
    • Add a keyword to narrow the results. Examples of keywords may include the type of treatment e.g., surgery or radiation. You can also search by keywords using the class of drug, e.g., PARP inhibitor or immunotherapy, or the name of a drug, e.g., vemurafenib or Gleevac.