How to Find Clinical Trials for Colon Cancer

Clinical trials are studies of new treatments that appear promising on paper but haven't been proven yet. That's why they're often referred to as experimental treatments. Clinical trials can be a valuable treatment option for people with colon cancer, particularly when conventional treatment wasn't effective. These resources will help you find colon cancer clinical trials in the United States and abroad.

NCI Clinical Trials Registry

This registry is sponsored by the National Cancer Institute (NCI) and contains more than 5,000 clinical trials that are currently recruiting. It's the largest database of clinical trials for colon cancer. You can search by colon cancer stage and also enter your ZIP code to find a clinical trial close to you. Most of the trials are sponsored by the U.S. government, but the database also contains trials sponsored by drug companies and medical centers. NIH maintains a similar database (, but since it regularly exchanges information with NCI's site, there's no reason to waste your time visiting both.

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NCI-Designated Cancer Centers

This is a good site to visit if you're looking for a cancer center in your area that offers clinical trials. The drawback is it takes several steps to actually find a clinical trial that's relevant to colon cancer. I like it though because it's a quick way to identify local cancer centers. Once you know who and where they are, you can always call for the latest clinical trial information.

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ACS Clinical Trials Matching Service

The American Cancer Society (ACS) offers a free clinical trial matching and referral service. The catch is you have to register, but registration is free. The database the service uses -- EmergingMed -- contains more than 7,000 clinical trials. This site is a good general resource, but particularly beneficial if you prefer personal interaction. If you'd like, an ACS Cancer Information Specialist will discuss matches with you via phone or e-mail.

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CenterWatch is more cumbersome to navigate than the other sites I'm recommending, but I like it because it offers a lot of colon cancer clinical trials from various sources. Unlike many other sites sponsored by the government or a nonprofit group, CenterWatch is run by a publishing company that focuses on the clinical trials industry. It also lists colon cancer clinical trials abroad in Australia, Asia, Canada, Latin America, and throughout Europe.

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TrialCheck is run by a nonprofit group (the Coalition of Cancer Cooperative Groups) whose mission is to improve awareness of, facilitate access to, and promote participation in cancer clinical trials. It's an interactive site designed to find the most relevant clinical trials for each person. One of the (optional) benefits of this site is that it will e-mail you when a relevant trial is posted.

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National Clinical Trials Database

This database is run by CancerConnect, a for-profit company. Basically, researchers pay to post their clinical trials on the Web site, which potential participants access for free. So the site is basically an advertising/recruiting platform. I'm recommending this site because it may contain clinical trials that the other sites don't. However, please use caution because I don't know what kind of screening process is involved when someone wants to advertise a clinical trial.

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