Finding a clinical trial may be challenging if you are a patient navigating information about your diagnosis, treatment options, and/or clinical trial availability and eligibility. In the United States, there are currently nearly 100 phase III drug trials (the last step before FDA approval) and more than 500 phase I/II (earlier, exploratory) trials in progress for prostate cancer treatment. This article aims to provide clarity for patients about prostate cancer clinical trial resources.
Resource #1: Your Doctor!
Many urologists, radiation oncologists, and medical oncologists are actively involved in clinical trials, particularly those that work at major hospitals and/or cancer centers. By simply asking your doctor about eligibility and sharing your interest in a clinical trial, you may find that there are several clinical trial options available.
Resource #2: Cancer Center
If you are receiving care at a cancer center (or are interested in receiving care at a cancer center), there are likely many clinical trial resources available through the cancer center. This may include a clinical trials office onsite and/or a section of their website linking to available prostate cancer clinical trials at the institution.
Resource #3: Patient Advocacy Groups
Patient advocacy groups are one of the best resources for finding a prostate cancer clinical trial. The Prostate Cancer Foundation has a dedicated section for helping patients find clinical trials. ZERO – The End of Prostate Cancer also has a specific webpage for patients interested in clinical trials. A feature on this site allows you to match into a clinical trial in 60 seconds by entering some key information about your demographics and prostate cancer diagnosis.
Resource #4: Clinical Research Groups
One of the main clinical research groups is the Prostate Cancer Clinical Trials Consortium (PCCTC), which is sponsored by the Prostate Cancer Foundation and the Department of Defense Prostate Cancer Research Program. The main coordinating center for the PCCTC is Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York which coordinates 15 participating clinical research sites and 32 affiliated clinical research sites to conduct large studies. PCCTC has a list of available prostate cancer clinical trials.
Resource #5: The National Cancer Institute and the U.S. National Institutes of Health
The National Cancer Institute (NCI) provides a vast network of prostate cancer clinical trials that are all sponsored or otherwise financially supported by the NCI. Currently, there are over 300 prostate cancer clinical trials available through the NCI. Additionally, the U.S. National Institutes of Health runs ClinicalTrials.gov, a database of privately and publically funded clinical trials conducted around the world. For prostate cancer alone, there are over 5,500 trials available on their website, including over 1,000 clinical trials that are actively recruiting patients.
The advancement of prostate cancer relies heavily on clinical trial participation. If you are interested in participating in a clinical trial, hopefully, these resources will help you to navigate choosing a clinical trial that you may be eligible for in your specific geographic region.