Why We Need Clinical Trials for Prostate Cancer

Why We Need Clinical Trials for Prostate Cancer
Clinical trials are extremely important scientific studies to assess new medical treatments, including treatments for diseases like prostate cancer. This article explores the reasons why clinical trials are necessary, what exactly they are, and how men with prostate cancer might benefit from clinical trials working to advance new therapies.

Improved Prostate Cancer Survival Rates

According to the most recent survey conducted by the NIH's National Cancer Institute,1 an estimated 2,795,592 men are living with prostate cancer in the United States alone. The number of new prostate cancer cases is 137.9 per 100,000 men per year, while the number of deaths is 21.4 per 100,000 per year. Survival rates for prostate cancer have also greatly increased over time, and the five-year survival rate is now 98.9% according to the NIH. That rate is largely due to newly approved treatments that were assessed via clinical trials. The wide range of treatments for prostate cancer, which includes watchful waiting, drugs, hormonal therapy, chemotherapy, radiation therapy, and surgery, was in large part made possible through clinical studies. Every therapeutic used in the treatment of the disease must be rigorously tested in actual prostate cancer patients before being approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and demonstrate both safety and efficacy.

Continued Need for New Treatments

Despite successes in treatment, prostate cancer still results in fatalities. In 2015, an estimated 27,540 people died from prostate cancer.1 Clearly, although current treatments have notably
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