When you take part in a cancer clinical trial, you add to the knowledge about cancer that allows physicians to prolong remissions, improve the quality of a patient’s life and even find a cure for some cancers.
Who can join a clinical trial?
Clinical trial participation is voluntary. You will always have the right to choose whether or not you will take part in a clinical trial. Before you take part in any clinical trial, you will provide your informed consent. In the informed consent process, the research staff will explain the details of the study to you and answer your questions and concerns. You have the right to leave the study at any time, for any reason. If you decide to leave the trial, your doctor will discuss other treatment options with you. Groundbreaking scientific advances in the present and the past were possible only because of the participation of volunteers in clinical research.
Will insurance cover the costs to participate in a clinical trial?
There are two types of costs associated with clinical trials. Patient care costs are those related to treating your cancer through standard therapy or as a clinical trial participant. Your health insurance provider usually covers these costs. Research costs directly related to the clinical trial are covered by the sponsor of the trial, such as clinical tests performed specifically for research purposes.
What are the potential benefits and risks of participating in a clinical trial?
Clinical trials can offer benefits for many people during their cancer experience. These may include access to promising new treatments and procedures outside of a clinical trial, getting more and more involved medical care from the research staff, knowing that the results may help future patients and having a greater sense of control over one’s situation.
By their nature, clinical trials involve some possible risks and downsides and may not be right for everyone. The risks associated with participating in a clinical trial may include harmful side effects not expected and finding that the experimental treatment may not be better than the standard therapy. You may also be required to make more visits to the doctor than usual.
Is my medical information kept confidential?
Yes. You are assigned a code, which protects your identity. Your code links your information to your treatment. Only the necessary research staff will have access to your code.