What’s new in thyroid cancer research?

Doctors all over the country are conducting many types of clinical trials. These are research studies in which people take part voluntarily. Studies include new ways to treat thyroid cancer. Research already has led to advances, and researchers continue to search for more effective approaches.

Patients who join these studies have the first chance to benefit from treatments that have shown promise in earlier research. They also make an important contribution to medical science by helping doctors learn more about the disease. Although clinical trials may pose some risks, researchers take very careful steps to protect their patients.

Patients who are interested in being part of a clinical trial should talk with their doctor. They may want to read Taking Part in Clinical Trials: What Cancer Patients Need to Know. This NCI booklet describes how research studies are carried out and explains their possible benefits and risks. NCI’s Web site at http://www.cancer.gov provides general information about clinical trials. It also offers detailed information about specific ongoing studies of thyroid cancer by linking to PDQ®, NCI’s cancer information database. The Cancer Information Service at 1-800-4-CANCER can answer questions and provide information from the PDQ database.

Another agency of the Federal Government, the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK), conducts a Thyroid Research Program. NIDDK performs laboratory studies and conducts clinical trials on thyroid cancer. NIDDK clinical trials are listed in the PDQ database. The Web site address of the NIDDK is http://www.niddk.nih.gov.

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