Participating in a clinical trial can give patients an opportunity to play a more active role in their own healthcare, give access to new research and treatments before they are available to the general public, and help others by contributing to medical research.
The first step in deciding whether to participating in a clinical trial or study is consulting with your oncologist and/or your physician. They will undoubtedly have advice specific to your illness that will help you decide if a trial treatment is best for you. Your oncologist or cancer center may have knowledge of trials and studies happening near you.
Finding New Studies
If you are interested in a clinical trial a good first website to visit is www.clinicaltrials.gov.
Once you find a trial or study that seems appropriate you’ll need to ask questions to know if it is indeed the right course of action.
- You may receive a new treatment before it is widely available to the public.
- You can provide researchers with the information they need to continue developing new procedures and introducing new treatment methods.
- Your treatment costs may be decreased, because many of the tests and doctor visits that are directly related to the clinical trial are paid for by the company or agency sponsoring the study. Be sure to discuss your treatment costs with the physicians and nurses conducting the clinical trial.
As with any medical procedure, clinical trials come with risks. Some risk will be specific to the trial treatment patients receive. Some risks are inherent in all clinical trials. Ask your health care professional about the risks before making any decisions about participating in any clinical trial.