Recent thyroid cancer research is looking at a type of cancer therapy called targeted therapy. Targeted therapy is a type of chemotherapy, but doesn’t work like traditional chemotherapies.
Traditional chemotherapy works by killing cells that are in the middle of splitting into two cells. Since cancer cells grow and divide quickly, chemotherapy is much more likely to kill a cancer cell than a normal cell. However, chemotherapy sometimes kills normal cells that are in the middle of splitting into two cells too. Traditional chemotherapy can be a bit inexact.
Targeted chemotherapy is more exact in that it focuses on the specific changes within a cell’s DNA that make the cell a cancer cell. There are many different targeted therapies. Some may target only a single change in a cancer cell, while others may target several different changes. Other targeted therapies can help the way your body fights cancer cells.
Our study is testing a new targeted therapy in comparison with one of two older, FDA approved, targeted therapies.
Without research studies, we wouldn’t have scientifically tested treatments for thyroid cancer and other conditions. Research studies provide an organized blueprint for testing the effectiveness and safety of an investigational medication or treatment.
Research studies can also be called clinical trials, clinical studies, clinical research, or other things. They are designed to answer specific questions about an investigational medication or treatment.
Some questions that research studies can help us answer include:
This is a phase 3 research study. Phase 3 research studies are the third step in a four-step drug approval process. These studies take place after the investigational medication’s safety has been tested in a small group of people. Phase 3 studies are usually the first study to look at an investigational medication’s effectiveness and safety compared to the standard treatment for a disease or condition.
Scientists test the safety and dosing range of an investigational medication or treatment in a small group of healthy people.
20-100 healthy volunteers
The goal of phase 1 research studies is to see if the investigational medication is appropriately safe to keep testing in more people.
If the clinical trial is successful, the investigational medication moves to phase 2 clinical trials.
Scientists test whether an investigational medication works in a larger group of people with a specific disease or condition. Side effects are noted.
Months to Years
100-300 people with the specific disease or condition
The goal of phase 2 research studies is to see if the investigational medication works and to note side effects.
If the clinical trial is successful, the investigational medication moves to phase 3 clinical trials.
Scientists test whether an investigational medication is more effective than the standard treatment in people with a specific disease or condition.
Months to Decades
300-3000 people with the specific disease or condition being studied
The goal of phase 3 research studies is to compare the investigational medication to the standard treatment.
If the clinical trial is successful, the investigational medication becomes eligible for approval to be prescribed and sold, and moves to phase 4 clinical trials.
Scientists collect data about the real-world experiences of people taking the new drug, over a long time.
Months to Decades
Several thousand people who have the disease or condition
The goal of phase 4 research studies is for the potential medication to become the new standard treatment.
If the clinical trial is successful, the potential medication can continue to be prescribed and sold, possibly for new uses.