What is a Clinical Trial?
Clinical trials are research studies that involve people. These studies are designed to test new methods in the prevention, screening or treatment of cancer. They are also performed to assess the safety and effectiveness of treatments. New developments in cancer treatment are the result of clinical trials.
People who participate in cancer clinical trials also have an opportunity to contribute to the knowledge and progress against cancer.
Importance of Clinical Trials
Clinical trials are designed to assess:
- If a new medication is safe and effective for a specific group of patients
- The safety and effectiveness of an available medication for a new indication/disease
- If new treatments are better than available standard treatments
If you take part in a clinical trial, you may be one of the first few people to benefit from a new treatment. Benefits of participation in a trial are real, as cancer specialists do not have all the answers for patients and significant improvements are awaiting discovery.
Who Is Eligible To Participate?
Each study has its own guidelines on who can participate in a clinical trial. The most common criteria used to determine suitability for participation would include age, gender, type and stage of a disease, treatment history, other medical conditions or medications.
How Are Clinical Trials Conducted?
The conduct of clinical trials in Singapore is regulated by the Medicines Act 1975 and the Medicines (Clinical Trials) Regulations 2000.
All Clinical trials that involve patients are approved by the Institutional Ethics Review Board and Health Sciences Authority of Singapore (HSA). Both ethics and regulatory approvals ensure medical protection and safety of the patients.
What Happens During A Clinical Trial?
Upon enrolment in a clinical trial, participants will work closely with the clinical trial team which would include doctors, nurses, clinical trial coordinators and other health care professionals. Each participant will have direct contact with a dedicated clinical trial coordinator at all times until the end of the study. They will be supported by the coordinator on all related aspects of the trials, which include advice on treatment cost and coordinating all the required tests and procedures. Clinical trial coordinators, working alongside the primary doctor, will ensure that participant’s concerns are met throughout the study.
Benefits Of Our Research
Our research group is now recognised as a leading centre for early phase studies on cancer drugs. Early phase studies involve the use of newer novel drugs that provide alternative treatment options for patients. In a study carried out by Dr Goh BC involving the first-in-man usage of Linifanib, various patients experience significant and prolonged disease control where previous treatments have failed.