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Health Tip: Evaluating a New Cancer Treatment

(HealthDay News) -- Before a new cancer treatment is available to the public, it must undergo vigorous evaluation, the American Cancer Society says.

Typically, a new treatment is tested on cancer cells in a laboratory. If testing is deemed successful, there may be testing on animals, followed by testing on people. Ultimately, it must be approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

During a clinical trial, research is done on people who volunteer to help doctors find ways to treat a disease or improve care.

The cancer society urges people to consider these factors when evaluating a new therapy:

  • Was the treatment tested in the lab (on cells in a dish, called in vitro), in animals, and in people)?
  • Who or what conducted the study?
  • Are there other studies that were done that support the same outcome?
  • If the study was done in people, how many were involved? How long were they followed?
  • Was there a difference in outcome between the group taking standard treatment and the group taking the new treatment?
  • Was the study published in a respected, peer-reviewed journal, or was it presented at a conference or described in a press release?
  • Has the treatment been approved by the FDA?
  • If the treatment hasn't been approved, is it available through compassionate use? (Compassionate drug use is when seriously-ill patients use an unapproved drug when no other treatment is available).
  • What's known about the treatment's side effects?
  • Is the treatment safe to use along with other therapies I'm using?

Copyright © 2019 HealthDay. All rights reserved. URL:http://consumer.healthday.com/Article.asp?AID=741446

Resources from HONselect: HONselect is the HON's medical search engine. It retrieves scientific articles, images, conferences and web sites on the selected subject.
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The list of medical terms above are retrieved automatically from the article.

Disclaimer: The text presented on this page is not a substitute for professional medical advice. It is for your information only and may not represent your true individual medical situation. Do not hesitate to consult your healthcare provider if you have any questions or concerns. Do not use this information to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease without consulting a qualified healthcare professional.
Be advised that HealthDay articles are derived from various sources and may not reflect your own country regulations. The Health On the Net Foundation does not endorse opinions, products, or services that may appear in HealthDay articles.


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