For many patients diagnosed with lung cancer, a clinical trial may be the best treatment option.

Clinical trials can lead to new approved lung cancer treatments. Clinical trial research that leads to options in lung cancer treatments is possible only if patients with lung cancer volunteer to participate.

Clinical trials are research studies conducted in a medical or clinical setting to test whether new medical approaches are safe, effective, and better than existing treatments. For lung cancer, clinical trials have led to breakthroughs that have resulted in new targeted therapies, immunotherapy as well as improvements in chemotherapy, radiation therapy and surgery.

You can learn much more about clinical trials here.


  1. How do I know if I am a possible candidate for a clinical trial?
  2. Are clinical trials only for people who have failed all other options?
  3. If I am a candidate to receive an approved standard therapy, why should I participate in a clinical trial?
  4. Are clinical trials safe?
  5. What are some of the risks and benefits of participating in a clinical trial?
  6. What is the goal of this trial? Who is sponsoring it?
  7. What is known about the investigational drug being studied? Has it worked in previous trials? Is it the same as chemotherapy?
  8. How will I be given the drug? How often and for how long?
  9. Are there tests to determine if I am eligible for this trial?
  10. What types of tests, scans, or other procedures are required during the trial, and how frequently will they need to be performed?
  11. What side effects might I experience if I’m given the investigational drug? Are the side effects reversible, and can they be managed?
  12. Are the side effects from the investigational drug worse than those I might experience with standard treatment? How severe could these side effects be?
  13. Will I lose my hair?
  14. Will I be able to continue working or go about my daily routine?
Tip: Print these questions out and fill in the answers with your doctor. Having this sheet on hand can help you to remember the conversation and plan for any next steps.

If you are considering participating in a clinical trial, start by asking your doctor whether there is one that might be a good match for you in your area.

In addition, here are several resources to help you find one that may be a good match:

LUNGevity partners with EmergingMed, a clinical trial matching service, to help you with the decision of whether to participate in a clinical trial. EmergingMed helps you identify which lung cancer clinical trials you may be eligible for. The clinical trial navigators can also guide you through the process of getting enrolled if you choose to take part in a clinical trial. Clinical trial navigators are available Monday through Friday from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm ET at 877-769-4834 (in both English and Spanish). Learn more about this free service and even fill out an online profile to help identify clinical trials that might be a good match for you, at

Information about available clinical trials is also available through these websites:

  • National Cancer Institute (NCI). This site includes all of the thousands of clinical trials in the United States in all cancer types.
  • A service of the National Library of Medicine, this site is a place to learn about clinical studies from around the world.
  • My Cancer Genome. This resource is managed by a team of doctors at Vanderbilt University. My Cancer Genome gives up-to-date information on what mutations make cancers grow and related treatment options, including available clinical trials
  • Lung Cancer Master Protocol (Lung-MAP). For patients with advanced non-small cell lung cancer, Lung-MAP is a collaboration of many research sites across the country, using a unique approach to matching patients to one of several drugs being developed.

In addition, if you are interested in a specific drug or other treatment that is being developed, you can often find information about studies for that drug on the website of the company developing it.

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