Finding Clinical Trials for Lung Cancer Treatment

How Can You Find a Lung Cancer Clinical Trial?

male researcher in a lab
How can you find clinical trials for lung cancer?. National Cancer Institute, Rhoda Baer (photographer)

How can you find clinical trials for lung cancer?  If you've done a little research on your own, you're probably a bit overwhelmed. There are a multitude of trials out there all over the world. Let's talk about finding one that might be right for you.

Clinical Trials for Lung Cancer

Clinical trials offer us the hope that a new medication or treatment will improve survival or quality of life to a greater degree than therapy that is currently available.

According to the National Cancer Institute, most people with lung cancer should consider a clinical trial. But how can you find one? 

There is a great opportunity for people with lung cancer, but we'll get there. Your oncologist may suggest a clinical trial, or you may wish to look up trials on your own. Resources for finding clinical trials include clinical trial databases, as well as matching services (specialists can assist you in locating a clinical trial depending upon your diagnosis and your desired location for treatment).

Before learning more about clinical trials it can be helpful to learn about the pros and cons and questions to ask, as well as the different phases of clinical trials, for example, if a clinical trial is a phase 1 trial done on just a few people to determine safety, or a larger phase 3 trial looking at thousands of people. Keep in mind that research in medicine is changing.

Whereas in the past, phase I trials were thought of as "last ditch" trials, there are now many people with lung cancer living because of these trials.

The fact that you made it to this page means that you are taking an active part in your health. Being an active member of your healthcare team is not only helpful but essential in our changing world.

Take a minute to learn a little more about researching your lung cancer online, as well as tips on being an advocate for yourself in your cancer care.

Clinical Trial Matching Services

Until only recently, people either had to depend on their oncologist to be an investigator in a specific clinical trial, or to refer someone for a trial.That's changing, and so is the sheer number of trials designed to find new treatments for lung cancer.

As a quick summary of how rapidly progress is being made with lung cancer, there were more new treatments approved for lung cancer between 2011 and 2015 than in the 4 decades preceding 2011. Keep in mind that each of those new treatments began as a clinical trial, and in each of those trials, people had the opportunity to use a treatment that was better than what was otherwise available at the time.

Unless you are an expert at navigating medicalese on the web, using a clinical trial matching service is a great opportunity. It still is, even if you research on your own.  And it's free.

Lung Cancer Clinical Trials Matching Service

Several lung cancer organizations have put together this personal, free, and confidential matching service just for people with lung cancer.

You can speak with a clinical trial navigator on the phone or a complete a form online to learn about clinical trials that may match your particular situation.

Emerging Med Navigator Find Clinical Trial Options
The Emerging Med Navigator allows you to search over 10,000 clinical trials in the United States and Canada online or by telephone. A matching service is also available; complete a detailed profile to see if you match with any of these studies. A clinical trials specialist contacts you free of charge by telephone to answer questions during your search and to help you get in contact with the physicians conducting the studies.

Clinical Trial Databases
This directory is provided as a service by the National Institutes of Health and lists over 55,000 clinical trials. Trials for lung cancer can be found by searching under "lung neoplasm."

CenterWatch: Clinical Trials Listing Service
CenterWatch provides an international listing of clinical trials along with patient education information to assist you in your decision-making process.

National Cancer Institute
The National Cancer Institute lists over 6,000 clinical trials that can be searched by cancer type and zip code (location trial is taking place).

Trial Check
A trial check is a clinical trial search engine provided by the Coalition of Cancer Cooperative Groups. Trial checklists over 4,000 clinical trials sponsored both by governmental agencies and private industry. Individuals fill out a screening questionnaire, and clinical trials are then listed starting with those closest to the patient's zip code.

The Lung Cancer Community

In addition to researching clinical trials through your doctor, through databases, and through a matching service, becoming involved in the lung cancer community is an excellent way to determine whether or not you are "missing" anything in your quest for treatment options. If you start looking around on social media, be aware of the hashtag #lcsm which stands for lung cancer social media.


National Cancer Institute. Clinical Trials Information for Patients and Caregivers. Accessed 05/31/16.

U.S. National Library of Medicine. Medline plus. Updated 09/27/16.