Doctors and scientists are conducting research to find better ways to prevent and treat cancer. According to the questions they want to answer, researchers can design different studies. No research design is perfect. New cancer treatments has advantages and disadvantages. It is important to understand the design of the study. This way, you can understand the results and thus know whether they apply to your situation.
There are two main types of cancer research:
Experimental research. This type of research provides an intervention, such as a new cancer treatments. The intervention is for a group of people. The researchers then compared their results with the results of another group that did not receive the intervention. The other group is called the control group. The researchers randomly or through a selection process decide who will receive the intervention and who will not.
Experimental research helps researchers learn more about how cancer develops or spreads. These studies can also test new imaging technologies and examine quality of life issues.
observational studies. In this type of research, people are observed in a natural environment and specific results are checked. The results can include whether one group of people has more cancer diagnoses than another group. In these studies, researchers cannot control interventions, such as a person’s weight or whether they take vitamin supplements. These studies are often referred to as epidemiological studies. Epidemiology involves studying how various risks cause or spread disease in the community.
Types of experimental research
Experimental research is more reliable than observational research. This is because the volunteers are randomly placed into the intervention or control group. This reduces the possibility that the researcher’s or volunteer’s assumptions or preferences will change the results of the study. This assumption or preference is called bias.
This type of research also helps researchers better discover and control other factors such as age, gender, and weight. These factors will affect the results of the study.
Researchers may also consider certain factors when selecting personnel to participate in experimental research. They may be based on the type of cancer, the stage of the disease, or whether the cancer has spread.
One of the most common types of experimental research is clinical research. This is a study that tests human medical intervention.
Clinical trial testing:
- Effectiveness or safety of new drugs or drug combinations
- New methods of radiation therapy or surgery
- New treatments or methods to prevent cancer
- Methods to reduce the risk of cancer recurrence
Doctors and researchers pass partial clinical trials called stages Research. Each stage of the clinical trial provides a different answer to the new treatment. For example, it can show the dosage, safety and effectiveness of the treatment. Effectiveness is how effective the treatment is. The clinical trial is divided into 4 phases.
In clinical trials, volunteers are usually randomly selected to join the treatment group or the control group. Researchers can prevent bias in clinical trials by preventing volunteers and/or themselves from understanding how volunteers are grouped. This is a process called “blindness“.
Types of experimental studies include:
Double-blind randomized studies. Most scientists believe that this type of clinical trial will produce the best evidence in research. At the end of the study, neither the volunteers nor the researchers knew who was in the treatment or control group.
Single-blind, randomized study. In this type of study, volunteers do not know whether they belong to the treatment group or the control group. But the researchers know.
Open label/open label research. Volunteers and researchers all know who is in each test group in this type of study. This happens when blindness is impossible. For example, the study can compare surgical treatment with medical treatment.
Types of observational studies
In observational studies, the researcher has less control over the subjects. This means that certain factors can affect the results. However, these studies help to provide preliminary evidence that can be used as a guide for future research.
Observational studies include:
case-control studies for new cancer treatments. These types of studies compare two groups of people. For example, they can compare those who have cancer (cases) with those who do not have cancer (controls). Researchers can look for lifestyle or genetic differences between the two groups. In this way, they hope to find out why one group is sick and the other is not. These studies were conducted retrospectively. In other words, they study what has happened. cohort studies. These studies are prospective, which means that researchers study the event as it happens. You monitor a group of people for a long time and track certain things. For example, they can make a new cancer diagnosis. This type of research can assess whether certain nutrients or behaviors can prevent cancer. This method can also find cancer risk factors.
For example, a cohort study looked at whether hormone replacement therapy after menopause increases the risk of breast cancer.
case reports and case series.
These studies are detailed descriptions of the patient’s medical history. The description of an individual patient is called a case report. If many patients are receiving similar treatments, the case reports can be grouped into a series of cases. The results of the case series are a description of the medical history of patients in a specific group. Therefore, they should not be used to determine treatment options.
cross-sectional studies. These studies examine how the disease interacts with other factors within a given population at any given point in time. But because these studies only measure interactions at a single point in time, they cannot prove that anything causes cancer.
A large number of cancer research reports are published every year. In this context, it is a challenge for doctors and interested patients and nurses to keep up with the latest developments.