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Frequently Asked Questions


What is a clinical trial?

Clinical trials are key to the future of cancer treatment. Carefully controlled clinical trials allow doctors and medical researchers to investigate new drugs in an effort to prevent cancer, to reduce the side-effects of current treatments and to improve the quality of life of patients affected by cancer. Under most circumstances, a clinical trial involves a comparison of a new drug or treatment against the current or standard therapy. The two (or more) regimens under investigation are monitored for both efficacy and safety. Whilst there are certain risks involved in researching novel treatments, clinical trials represent the only true means of accurately measuring the benefits of new therapies. Patients who become involved in clinical trials make an important contribution to medical science and to the broader community.

What treatments are available?

The three primary treatments for cancer: Surgery, Radiation therapy and/or Chemotherapy

What are GI cancers?

Gastro-Intestinal cancer is a broad term used to encompass all cancers of the Gastro-Intestinal tract (digestive system). This includes cancers of the oesophagus, stomach, liver, gallbladder, pancreas, bowel, rectal and anal. Following is a brief overview of each cancer.

Why is cancer so hard to treat?

The difficulty in treating cancer is that it’s not a single disease, but rather a group of diseases. In total there are more than 100 different types of cancers. Cancers are also caused by different things, so no one strategy can prevent them. Likewise, different cancers respond to different treatments, so no one treatment can cure them all. Treating cancer is further complicated due to the lifestyle and attitude of patients, the different physiology of people and the rate their bodies will metabolise drugs, the blood supply to the tumour affecting the drug getting into the tumour, the tumour physiology and the fact that the tumour can continue to change.