Clinical trials for melanoma provide patients with unique opportunities to benefit from promising new treatments before those options are made available in other settings. These valuable research studies also allow physicians to evaluate the effectiveness of new therapies, diagnostic tests and screening methods as compared to those that are currently in use. Every newly discovered option that demonstrates potential goes through this vital process; in fact, the current gold standard in melanoma treatment was once the subject of a clinical trial. In sum, clinical trials are continually improving the standard of care for all current and future patients who are diagnosed with melanoma.
With that said, clinical trials for melanoma are not right for every patient. To help ensure that the best possible treatment options are made available to each individual, eligibility for participation is carefully determined based on a thorough analysis of multiple factors, such as the type, location and stage of the cancer, as well as the patient’s age, general health and response to prior treatments, if any. Even after a patient is determined to be eligible for a clinical trial, the decision to participate is always the patient’s, and the patient’s alone. What’s more, a participant can choose to withdraw from a clinical trial at any time for any reason (or no reason at all).
At Moffitt Cancer Center, our goal is to provide all of the support, guidance and information that our patients need to make fully informed treatment choices. With regard to melanoma clinical trials, the multispecialty team in our Cutaneous Oncology Program will explain the following in detail to a prospective participant:
- What the new treatment is and how it compares to other treatments
- How the study will be conducted and what it will involve
- How the trial may impact the participant’s daily life
- The potential risks and benefits of the treatment
- The possible side effects of the treatment, and how they can be managed
- The time commitments of participation, including any required physician visits, hospitalization and testing, if applicable
- Whether long-term follow-up will be necessary
As the only National Cancer Institute-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center based in Florida, Moffitt is a recognized leader in cancer research, and we continue to lead the way in discovering and developing new melanoma treatments through our robust clinical trials program. We’ve made significant progress, and our goal is to one day beat melanoma and other types of skin cancer for good.
If you would like to find out about the clinical trials for melanoma that are currently underway at Moffitt, you do not need a referral. Call 1-888-MOFFITT or complete a new patient registration form online.