How Clinical Trials Work - Stand Up To Cancer : What is a Clinical Trial for Cancer


Cancer clinical trials measure whether new therapies or new combinations are better than the best treatments we have today. Today’s cancer treatments were carefully evaluated in clinical trials before being approved for wider use.

For Patients & Caregivers  >  Clinical Trials  >  How Clinical Trials Work


Cancer clinical trials are open to participants from all backgrounds and walks of life. The more diverse the patient population is during the trial, the better researchers will understand how a larger population will respond to the treatment once it is on the market.

Signing on for a Phase I trial, I felt, was the best option for me. I was going to get a cutting-edge therapy that other women going through ovarian cancer at the same time I was weren’t going to get. Because of the clinical trial I participated in, the care I got is now the standard of care for other women.
Jamie Crase
Stage IV Ovarian Cancer Survivor, Trial Participant

How Trials Are Organized

Trials need to be designed in a way that will produce useful data. Researchers must be able to show whether a benefit seen in a trial is actually a result of the treatment being studied. Likewise, they must figure out whether any side effects are caused by the treatment. And they need to do all that using a population of patients who are each unique individuals.

Why Your Participation Matters

Cancer clinical trials provide knowledge that advances cancer care. Every participant adds to that knowledge. Researchers learn which patients are likely to respond to which drugs, learn more about how cancer works, and may also discover approaches that work for other cancers.

Even when a study drug doesn’t prove to be better than the standard treatment, researchers still learn from those trials. Sometimes all it takes is a dose adjustment. Other times, using a drug in combination makes the difference. Or it may be that they need to move on to the next promising idea.

Find A Trial

Take The Next Step: Find A Trial

Speak to an expert. Stand Up To Cancer is pleased to connect interested parties with Carebox, a free and confidential trial matching service that will help guide you through a search and referral process to find a clinical trial that may be right for you.

There are several ways to search and find a trial. You can fill out a questionnaire, call a toll free number to speak with a Carebox representative, or fill out a form and someone will be in touch with you.


Fill out a short online questionnaire to identify clinical trials near you that fit your specific diagnosis, stage and treatment history.


We can also update you when new studies open that match your profile.




Monday - Friday

9:00 am to 6:00 pm ET

Se Habla Español

Find A Clinical Trial

SU2C Catalyst®
Learn about Stand Up To Cancer’s SU2C Catalyst clinical trials.


Sign up to receive emails from Stand Up To Cancer.
   Please leave this field empty
Stand Up to Cancer

Thanks for signing up!
You will hear from us soon.