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This guide will help you to look for a cancer treatment clinical trial that might benefit you. It is not intended to provide medical advice. You, your health care team, and your loved ones are in the best position to decide whether a clinical trial is right for you.
This guide will help you to
    * gather the information you need to begin your search for a clinical trial
    * identify sources of clinical trial listings
    * learn about clinical trials that may be of benefit to you
    * ask questions that will help you decide whether or not to participate in a particular trial
A Word About Timing
Many treatment trials will only take patients who have not yet been treated for their condition. Researchers conducting these trials are hoping to find an improved "first-line" treatment option for that type of cancer.
    * If you are newly diagnosed with cancer, the time to consider joining a clinical trial is before you've had surgery, chemotherapy, radiation, or other forms of treatment (tests to diagnose your cancer are okay). However, don't delay treatment if waiting could harm you. Talk with your doctor about how quickly you need to make a treatment decision.
    * If you have received one or more forms of treatment and are looking for a new treatment option, there also are many clinical trial options for you. You may want to look for trials that are testing a new follow-up treatment that may prevent the return of your cancer. Or, if your first treatment failed to work, you may want to look for trials of new “second-line” or even “third-line” treatments.
Fill out this Diagnosis Checklist before you start looking for a clinical trial. The checklist will help you know which clinical trials you are eligible to join.
# What kind of cancer do you have?
Write down the full medical name.
# Where did the cancer first start?
Many cancers spread to the bones, liver, or elsewhere. However, the type of cancer you have is determined by where it first showed up. For example, breast cancer that spreads to the bone is still breast cancer.
# What is the cancer's cell type?
This information will be in your pathology report.
# If there's a solid tumor, what size is it?
# If there is a solid tumor, where is it located?
If the tumor has spread, list all locations.
# What stage is the cancer?
The stage describes the extent of cancer in the body and whether it has spread from the original site. There are different staging systems for different cancers.
# Have you had cancer before, different from the one you have now?
If so, answer questions 1-6 for the other cancer, as well.
# What is your current performance status?
An assessment from your doctor indicating how well you are able to perform ordinary tasks and carry out daily activities.
# If you have not yet had any treatment for cancer, what treatment(s) have been recommended to you?
# If you have had treatment for cancer, please list (for example: type of surgery; chemotherapy, immunotherapy, or radiation).
# Bone marrow function (blood tests that check whether your blood count is normal):
A.   White blood cell count
B.   Platelet count
C.   Hemoglobin/hematocrit
# Liver function (blood tests that check whether your liver function is normal):
A.   Bilirubin
B.   Transaminases
# Renal function (blood test that checks whether your kidney function is normal):
Serum creatinine