Clinical trials offer bladder cancer patients the opportunity to be among the first to benefit from breakthrough treatment options, before they become widely available. Sometimes, it is mistakenly believed that participating in a clinical trial means that the patient will become a "guinea pig," either testing a drug or procedure that has never before been used or unknowingly receiving a placebo, but this could not be further from the truth. In reality, cancer treatments that are in the clinical trial phase have already undergone extensive testing for safety, and in the rare instances that placebos are used in clinical trials, participants are made fully aware of this possibility and are never denied access to other treatments they may need. Furthermore, clinical trial participants can choose to withdraw from the program at any time.
Are You a Candidate for a Bladder Cancer Clinical Trial?
The purpose of clinical trials, for bladder cancer or any other type of cancer, is to compare innovative new therapies with standard treatments (standard treatments that are considered the most advanced options currently available). Any patient can be considered for participation in a clinical trial, but they must meet the inclusion criteria for the particular study. These criteria may include factors such as:
- The type of cancer
- The patient’s gender
- The patient’s age
- Past treatments
- The staging, or extent, of the cancer
For the most groundbreaking treatments and clinical trials, bladder cancer patients should look to high-volume cancer facilities, like Moffitt Cancer Center, that have a specialty program concentrated on urologic cancers. Moffitt boasts a robust clinical trials program and is home to a vast research team that’s comprised of a wide range of professionals, including physician-scientists, research data specialists and oncologists who specialize solely in the treatment of bladder cancer. For our extensive research efforts, Moffitt has been designated a National Cancer Institute Comprehensive Care Center – the only one based in Florida.