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Last Updated: 12/22/16

Imaging Clinical Trial Basics

What are imaging clinical trials and why are they important?

Like other types of clinical trials an imaging clinical trial is a research study conducted with people who volunteer to take part. Each study answers specific scientific questions that will determine the value of imaging procedures for detecting, diagnosing, guiding, or monitoring the treatment of disease. Volunteers who take part in cancer-related imaging clinical trials have an opportunity to contribute to knowledge of, and progress against, cancer. For additional information about imaging techniques, see Cancer Imaging, a visual introduction to cancer imaging, featuring information about imaging technologies and their uses.

What are the types of imaging clinical trials?

There are several types of imaging clinical trials:

  • Screening imaging clinical trials generally ask questions that will help researchers learn what type of imaging test will best detect disease early, possibly before symptoms of the disease are noticed.
  • Diagnostic imaging clinical trials address questions about what type of imaging test will best detect disease when it is suspected or will help monitor known disease or monitor a therapy to evaluate whether it is working.
  • Image-guided interventional clinical trials evaluate the role of therapies that are directed by imaging techniques