National Cancer Institute
Office of Cancer Complimentary and Alternative Medicine
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Clinical Trials
Updated: 06/23/09


What are clinical trials?

A clinical trial is one of the final stages of a long and careful cancer research process. Studies include cancer patients to find out whether promising approaches to cancer prevention, diagnosis, and treatment are safe and effective.

What are the different types of clinical trials?

Currently, what cancer clinical trials are the NCI and medical community sponsoring involving CAM modalities?

Cancer CAM clinical trials are listed in NCI's PDQ (Physician Data Query) computer database that contains cancer information summaries, listings of clinical trials and directories of physicians and organizations involved in cancer care. It currently includes approximately 2,000 abstracts of trials that are open and approved to accept patients. Active trials are augmented with a summary listing of organizations where the trial is taking place and principal investigators.

PDQ is used by health professionals and patients alike and may be searched a number of ways including by diagnosis, treatment modality, phase, locality, drug name, state/province, city, country, or a combination of these variables. Abstracts are written in two formats: health professional (using technical terminology) and patient (using layman's terms).