Clinical Trials

Pictured: Patricia Fischer Registered nurse Patricia Fischer checks in with a trial participant. Clinical trials at institutions such as Memorial Sloan Kettering have played a vital role in the fight against cancer.

A clinical trial is a type of clinical research study that tests a new medical approach in people to make sure it is safe and effective. A clinical trial is sometimes called a research protocol, a clinical study, or simply medical research.

Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center is typically involved in more than 900 clinical trials at a given time, covering a broad range of subjects. Some clinical trials study a drug, a medical device, or a new way of doing surgery. Others test new ways to prevent disease, diagnose cancer, improve quality of life, or help people with cancer manage difficult psychological and social issues. Some clinical trials are small, with just a few patients. Others are large and involve thousands of patients at Memorial Sloan Kettering and other centers.

Clinical trials have played an important role in the fight against cancer. They are the only scientific way to prove whether a new treatment works better than current treatments. Most of the approaches that doctors use to treat cancer today would never have become available without clinical trials.

Why Consider a Clinical Trial?

Clinical trials may offer you access to a new experimental treatment before it is available to most patients. Joining a clinical trial is also a way to make a valuable contribution toward the progress against cancer. Many people with cancer are now living longer because of what was learned from past clinical trials. Although every clinical trial is different, most are open to men, women, and/or children of all ethnic, racial, and socioeconomic backgrounds. Having a diverse group of participants is important to ensure that a new approach is safe and effective for all people, and that the latest discoveries about cancer improve the lives of everyone.

 Clinical Trials at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center

Memorial Sloan Kettering is able to offer so many clinical trials because our doctors are experts in treating all kinds of cancers, both common and rare. Memorial Sloan Kettering is also home to one of the world's top cancer research programs. Our scientists and physicians work together to turn scientific discoveries into new and improved cancer treatments. The health of every patient who participates in a clinical trial is of the utmost importance at Memorial Sloan Kettering. If you choose to participate in a clinical trial, the details of the study will be explained to you completely before you begin. A team of doctors, nurses, social workers, and other healthcare professionals will monitor your health closely to determine the safety and effectiveness of the treatment. They will also help you with any side effects you might experience.

Learn More about Clinical Trials

The more you know about clinical trials, the better informed you will be when deciding whether or not to join one. In this section, you will find general information about clinical trials. You will also find a listing of studies at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center that are currently enrolling patients.