Clinical trials afford breast cancer patients a unique opportunity to benefit from new and developing treatments. Access to clinical trials is essential for patients with extreme health needs, and a diverse population of participants increases the value and usefulness of trial results. Clinical trials have the potential to both greatly improve individual patient health outcomes and have an enormous impact on overall treatment. Successful clinical trials often result in the establishment of new best practices, novel and cutting edge treatment methods, or new drugs and protocols. Unfortunately, much of the information gleaned from clinical trials is never disclosed by investigators; this information could reduce duplication in treatment and drug development efforts and potentially have a measurable positive impact on patient care. Additionally, many patients are unaware of opportunities for participation in clinical trials and consequently are unable to join and receive the many associated potential benefits.
Clinical trials serve a critical role in improving health care by answering important questions about the safety and effectiveness of new drugs, devices and treatments that, if proven safe and effective, are made available to the public. We must work to ensure increased awareness, education and access to clinical trials for all patient populations.
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