Cancer Clinical Trials


Clinical trials are research studies that test new treatments to see how well they work. At MSK, we’re running one of the largest clinical trials programs for cancer in the country. Patients who choose to participate in a trial at MSK receive the most advanced cancer treatment available, sometimes years before it’s offered anywhere else.

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VIDEO | 02:37

Why Clinical Trials Are Important

Medical oncologist Dana Rathkopf explains why clinical trials are so important, and what people need to know before enrolling in a trial.
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Quick Facts about Clinical Trials

Before you decide whether a clinical trial is right for you, make sure you know the facts.

  • Almost every cancer treatment offered to patients today has come about because of a clinical trial.
  • The goals of individual trials vary. They range from looking at new, potentially curative therapies to ones with fewer side effects.
  • Patients who enroll in a clinical trial at MSK receive their treatment from a compassionate and experienced staff recognized for their focus on patient safety and care.
  • There are no additional out-of-pocket costs to patients for treatments being studied as part of a trial.
  • The vast majority of trials do not use a placebo. For trials that do, patients will be fully informed before they begin the trial.
  • We encourage our patients to consider participating in a clinical trial from the very start of their care.

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What Is a Clinical Trial?

Clinical trials are research studies that test new treatments to see how well they work. Find out how they are helping us in the fight against cancer.

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Trial Locations

Patients who enroll in a clinical trial at any of MSK’s locations will receive the most advanced treatments anywhere. We offer trials in:

Find a Clinical Trial

Search our database of clinical trials at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center that are currently enrolling new participants.

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Lessons from a Stage 4 Cancer Survivor:
A Conversation with Mary Elizabeth Williams

In this episode, Dr. Diane Reidy-Lagunes sits down with journalist, author and stage-four melanoma survivor, Mary Elizabeth Williams, to discuss what it was like being part of a phase-one clinical trial, how clear communication can affect health outcomes, how guilt often accompanies survival, and what not to say to a cancer patient. Mary Elizabeth’s book is A Series of Catastrophes and Miracles.

Listen to the episode