Is a Cancer Clinical Trial Right for You?

The University of Chicago Medicine cancer research helps healthcare professionals around the country — and around the world — treat cancer more effectively. These trials give our patients access to new treatments and therapies. Clinical trials are helping us make progress toward a cure and may be a good option for you.

Clinical trials are research studies involving people. Some trials test the safety and effectiveness of new cancer treatments. Others may test new procedures or approaches for cancer screening or prevention. Clinical trials follow very detailed and strict procedures for administering the new treatment or procedure and measuring its effects (both good and bad) on patients, compared to the standard approach. Clinical trials help improve existing treatment options for patients, and all improvements in cancer care were made possible because of clinical trials.

Clinical trials provide access to new drugs and treatments before they are widely available, while closely monitoring your health and any side effects. They allow you to play a more active role in your health care and make a valuable contribution to cancer research. Despite these potential benefits, there are also risks, including unknown side effects and the possibility that the new treatments are less effective than current therapies. Patients enrolled in clinical trials will still receive standard treatment for their disease during the clinical trial.

Each study has its own guidelines explaining who is eligible to participate. Participants are typically chosen because they share common conditions, such as the type and stage of cancer, age or gender. Our clinical trials are designed to include a variety of types of cancer in order to benefit as many patients as possible, including those who have received past treatments.

All of our clinical trials follow strict scientific and ethical principles. Each trial is carefully designed and, before they are allowed to begin, all trials are closely reviewed by independent researchers and doctors, who ensure that the trials are scientifically sound and that they protect the safety of those who participate. 

If you are a patient or a caregiver and would like to learn more about UChicago Medicine cancer clinical trials, call 1-855-702-8222 (adult trials) or 1-773-702-2927 (pediatric trials) or email

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