Novel treatments for cancer may not be available outside clinical trials, Elizabeth Tracey reports


There may be no benefit to taking a drug that’s approved already for treating cancer in a clinical trial versus just receiving treatment, a new study finds. William Nelson, director of the Kimmel Cancer Center at Johns Hopkins, says benefits of clinical trials may include access to drugs that are not approved yet.

Nelson: This one also largely focused on clinical trials to the comparison where you got the same drug that's often a more advanced stage clinical trial opposed to getting a drug which is being newly introduced, it undergoes an evaluation to assess what the side effects are, how well it likely works. Ultimately is it better than the best we've got, if we add it to the best we've got of treatment of a particular condition is there any improvement? These drugs are not available until they've met that standard of improving outcomes and so that's a little bit different also.     :31

Nelson notes that the study didn’t find a benefit while comparing known and approved drug treatment within and outside of trials. At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.