clinical research

development of new treatments

Clinical trials, studies in which volunteers take part in tests of new drugs or procedures, are an important tool in the development of new treatments for pheochromocytoma and paraganglioma. In this section, learn about the types of clinical trials, find tools to help you decide if a clinical trial may be right for you, and search for specific studies you may be eligible to take part in.

Participation in clinical trials for those with progressive disease is critical to finding better treatments for pheo para.  It is important to note that placebos are rarely used in cancer treatment clinical trials.  For pheo para, they may be used in a clinical trial that compares standard treatment plus a placebo with standard treatment plus a new treatment.  So, everyone participating in a clinical trial will receive, at least, the standard treatment commonly used for pheo para.

Also, you can find a list of research articles, some discussing ongoing clinical trials here.

Clinical Research Sources

NIH Clinical Research Trials

NIH Clinical Research Trials is a searchable registry and results database of federally and privately supported clinical trials conducted in the United States and around the world.


CenterWatchSM  is a publishing and information services company that keeps a list of both industry-sponsored and government-funded clinical trials for cancer and other diseases. Search their list by location, cancer type, or drug name.

Note: Search results can sometimes be enhanced by broadening your search terms, such as trying both “paraganglioma” and “carotid body tumor”.

Types of Clinical Trials

Diagnostic Trials

Diagnostic trials determine better tests or procedures for diagnosing a particular disease or condition.

Natural History Studies

Natural history studies provide valuable information about how disease and health progress.

Prevention Trials

Prevention trials look for better ways to prevent a disease in people who have never had the disease or to prevent the disease from returning.

Quality of Life Trials

Quality of life trials (or supportive care trials) explore and measure ways to improve the comfort and quality of life of people with a chronic illness.

Screening Trials

Screening trials test the best way to detect certain diseases or health conditions.

Treatment Trials

Treatment trials test new treatments, new combinations of drugs, or new approaches to surgery or radiation therapy.

Phases of Clinical Trials

Clinical trials are conducted in “phases.” The trials at each phase have a different purpose and help researchers answer different questions.

Phase I Trials 

An experimental drug or treatment in a small group of people (20–80) for the first time. The purpose is to evaluate its safety and identify side effects.

Phase II Trials 

The experimental drug or treatment is administered to a larger group of people (100–300) to determine its effectiveness and to further evaluate its safety.

Phase III Trials 

The experimental drug or treatment is administered to large groups of people (1,000–3,000) to confirm its effectiveness, monitor side effects, compare it with standard or equivalent treatments.

Phase IV Trials 

After a drug is licensed and approved by the FDA researchers track its safety, seeking more information about its risks, benefits, and optimal use.

To learn more about Clinical Trials, check out the American Cancer Society’s “Clinical Trials: What You Need to Know”.