Why get involved in clinical research?
Clinical study (clinical trial) is research study that involves people and is usually designed to find better ways to treat or prevent disease or health issues. Some studies involve new medications or things like radiation, surgery or diet. Standard medications like aspirin have gone through the same kind of studies as cancer drugs to determine dose and make sure they are safe and effective.
Typical treatment for a disease is called “standard of care” and some trials divide participants into two groups with one receiving standard of care and the other receiving the new medicine or other intervention for comparison. Patients involved in a cancer clinical study never receive a placebo or ‘sugar pill’. All participants receive treatment and are closely monitored.
It is important to talk to your doctor or treatment team about possible clinical studies before starting your treatment as well as again, if the cancer returns requiring additional treatment. Have a family member or trusted friend with you for these conversations. Be prepared to ask questions and take notes. Clinical studies are essential to improve cancer treatment while providing options for those with advanced disease.
Find an IBC Trial
If you’re interested in researching clinical trials yourself, there are multiple, searchable websites available. ClinicalTrials.gov, sponsored by the National Cancer Institute (NCI), includes studies for a wide variety of cancers. The site contains a lot of information and can be overwhelming.
BreastCancerTrials.org is a non-profit that provides services specifically for breast cancer patients. This group uses the NCI trial database and other sources to provide a comprehensive listing of available studies. Patients can browse the entire list or narrow down the search with specific parameters. A matching service is also available to patients to help find trials that meet specific criteria. This is especially useful when searching for inflammatory breast cancer (IBC) specific trials.
For Stage IV (Metastatic) Patients
People with metastatic inflammatory breast cancer can help advance research and get automated matches to clinical trials that may be right for them by joining the MBC Connect patient experience registry. This free interactive web tool is offered by the Metastatic Breast Cancer Alliance.