Clinical Trials. Discover. Innovate. Heal.

What is a Cancer Clinical Trial?

Cancer clinical trials help us to improve treatments for people with cancer. Scientists and doctors use clinical trials to find better ways to screen for cancer and to prevent and treat cancer. Every standard cancer treatment we have today went through a clinical trial to become the standard. The standard treatments we have today help more people survive their cancer than standard treatments people could get years ago.

A cancer clinical trial answers well-defined scientific questions. The UNM Comprehensive Cancer Center runs clinical trials to better diagnose, prevent and treat cancer. Clinical trials are grouped into different types and phases. Each type and phase follows a set of rules to answer the question the clinical trial focuses on. Federal rules help to ensure the safety and ethics of all clinical trials in the United States.

The UNM Cancer Center offers phase I, phase II and phase III clinical trials for most cancers. When you take part in a cancer clinical trial, your care must follow strict rules. These rules are called the “protocol” for that cancer clinical trial. The protocol is based on scientific studies.



Drugs in Development in U.S. Clinical Trials
Treating Cancer in New Ways 



Available Clinical Trials
in New Mexico

I help patients that have been identified by our multidisciplinary team sign up for the right clinic trial that can offer them treatment and hopefully help others in the future with treatment options.

— Kim Steinberg
Clinical Research Nurse 

Is a Cancer Clinical Trial Right for You?

Only you can decide whether joining a cancer clinical trial is best for you. But, our team can give you important facts to help you make your decision.

Before you decide to join a clinical trial, our team will talk to you about it. They will tell you what the trial is studying, how long it will last, and what you can expect as you take part in it. They will also tell you about the risks you may take or discomforts you may have while taking part. They will explain the benefits the trial may give you. You can choose to receive the standard care for your cancer or you can choose to receive care through a clinical trial.

If you join a cancer clinical trial, you may choose to leave it at any time and for any reason. If you leave a clinical trial, you will still receive the standard treatment for your cancer.

Learn more about trials from the National Cancer Institute