You & Your Physician

Doctors recognize the impact advanced melanoma has on their patients and their families and take that into account when meeting with them and treating their disease. Learn more about their perspective, and how you can make the most of your time with your doctor.

Doctors answer questions about treating melanoma patients

Your doctor might inform you about clinical trials that you may wish to enroll in

In order to determine if a drug is safe and effective in the treatment of cancer, it must first go through what are called clinical trials or clinical studies. Some studies of cancer treatments are initiated by major hospitals or cancer groups, but most are sponsored by the biotechnology or pharmaceutical company that has developed the treatment.

All the details of clinical trials conducted in Canada are first authorized by Health Canada to ensure the study is conducted in accordance with certain regulatory requirements and in an ethical manner that protects patients' rights. If your doctor knows of a clinical study for which he or she thinks you might be a good candidate for, you may wish to participate. The choice to participate is entirely up to you. However, before agreeing to participate, it is important to learn exactly what is involved and what the risks might be.

You might also want to seek out a study for you or your loved one to participate in. Almost all clinical studies are now listed on central registries kept by various groups:

  • To search for clinical studies in cancer in Canada on a site developed by the Canadian Partnership Against Cancer, click here.
  • To search the clinical trials database maintained by Health Canada, click here.
  • To search for clinical studies in cancer in the United States on a site developed by the National Cancer Institute, click here.
  • To search for clinical studies in cancer and other diseases on a site developed by the United States National Institutes of Health, click here.

Below are some other resources to help you in your decision about participating in clinical studies:


Listing of third-party websites does not imply an endorsement by or association with Novartis Pharmaceuticals Canada Inc.