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B. The Importance of Clinical Trials

Narrator: This is Science Today. Breast cancer researchers are stressing the importance of recruiting more women to enroll in clinical trials. Dr. Debu Tripathy of the University of California, San Francisco says many women are reluctant to volunteer because they feel they are guinea pigs.

Tripathy: But I think what maybe counters that perception is that there's extreme amount of caution in at least establishing safety of a new treatment. And for the most part, these patients are going to be under much more close surveillance than they would be if they weren't on trial.

Narrator: Tripathy says clinical trials are small steps which can lead to a cure or better treatment, but only 3 percent of eligible women are participating.

Tripathy: One of the concerns I have is that we will get this stream of new technology and we wont' know how to apply it. In the decades to come, I think there's going to be a lot of innovations as to how we treat cancer. And that's very exciting, of course. However I think it's very important that we work with the community so that we together can develop ways to study all these new approaches.

Narrator: For Science Today, I'm Larissa Branin.