What Do I Need to Know?

What Do I Need to Know?

If you are invited to participate in a clinical trial, feel free to ask any questions or bring up any issues concerning the trial at any time.

The following suggestions may give you some ideas
as you think about your own questions.

Potential Benefits

Well-designed and well-executed clinical trials provide the best approach for participants to:

  • Play an active role in their healthcare.
  • Gain access to new research treatments before they are widely available.
  • Receive regular and careful medical attention from a research team that includes doctors and other health professionals.
  • Help others by contributing to medical research.

Potential Risks

Risks to participating in clinical trials include the following:

  • There may be unpleasant, serious, or even life-threatening side effects to experimental treatment.
  • The study may require more time and attention than standard treatment would, including visits to the study site, more blood tests, more treatments, hospital stays, or complex dosage requirements.

Tips for Asking Your
Doctor about Trials

  • Consider taking a family member or friend along for support and for help in asking questions or recording answers.
  • Plan ahead what to ask—but don't hesitate to ask any new questions you think of while you're there.
  • Write down your questions in advance to make sure you remember to ask them all.
  • Write down the answers so that you can review them whenever you want.
  • Ask about bringing a tape recorder to make a taped record of what's said (even if you write down answers).
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Here are some questions to consider when deciding to participate in a clinical trial.

About the Study

  • What is the purpose of the study?
  • Why do researchers think the approach may be effective?
  • Who will fund the study?
  • Who has reviewed and approved the study?
  • How are study results and safety of participants being checked?
  • How long will the study last?
  • What will my responsibilities be if I participate?

Participation

  • What kinds of therapies, procedures and/or tests will I have during the trial?
  • Will they hurt, and if so, for how long?
  • How do the tests in the study compare with those I would have outside of the trial?
  • Will I be able to take my regular medications while in the clinical trial?
  • Where will I have my medical care?
  • Who will be in charge of my care?

Daily Life

  • How could being in this study affect my daily life?
  • Can I talk to other people in the study?

Cost Issues

  • Will I have to pay for any part of the trial, such as tests or the study drug?
  • If so, what will the charges likely be?
  • What is my health insurance likely to cover?
  • Who can help answer any questions from my insurance company or health plan?
  • Will there be any travel or childcare costs that I need to consider while I am in the trial?

Courtesy of cancer.gov.