Clinical Trials

Respiratory Health Association offers links to local clinical trials in lung cancer and other lung diseases as a resource for people seeking information about these opportunities.

Clinical trials are designed to study the safety and effectiveness of new medications, medical devices or behavioral interventions in humans, and they may also be used to determine which existing treatment works best.

Before a clinical trial begins, the treatment undergoes years of testing on animals and/or human cells. To ensure that people in a trial are as safe and informed as possible, the United States Food and Drug Administration uses strict guidelines to approve and regulate the study.

Clinical trials are conducted in four phases:

Phase I usually studies 20 to 80 people and looks at the safety of a new treatment given to humans for the first time. Researchers watch closely for any harmful side effects and try to determine a safe dose.

Phase II studies 100 to 300 people to further evaluate the effectiveness and safety of the treatment.

Phase III studies 1,000 to 3,000 people to further confirm the safety, effectiveness and side effects. Researchers also compare the new treatment with a commonly used treatment.

Phase IV research is done after the new treatment is widely available or marketed. Information is collected from a variety of populations about the effects, benefits and long-term risks of the treatment.

People join clinical trails for different reasons. For some people, a trial is an alternative to a treatment that does not work or has unpleasant side effects. Others join because they want to increase the available knowledge on a disease or condition.

For each trial, researchers use eligibility standards to choose the right participants. Not everyone who wants to join is eligible, so talk with your health care provider about the risks and benefits before applying to be part of a trial.

To learn more about clinical trials, visit

If you would like to learn more about a local clinical trial, use our Available Clinical Trials page on the left, or use our lung cancer clinical trials matching service.

For more information, contact Jennifer Kustwin:
Email Research
(312) 628-0219