|About Clinical Trials|
Criteria for Participation in Clinical Trials
Each clinical research study has criteria that patients must meet before they can participate. Common criteria includes:
• Age and gender
• Type of cancer
• Stage (extent) of cancer
• Previous treatments that you must, or must not have had
• Results of certain laboratory tests
• Medicines that you are currently taking
• Other medical conditions – the study treatment could have an impact on other health problems
• Previous history of any other cancer
Deciding to Participate in a Clinical Trial
When you need treatment for your cancer, clinical research studies may be an excellent option for you. Deciding to join a study is an important and personal decision. It is something only you, with the help of those close to you and your doctors and nurses, can decide.
As a treatment option, a clinical research study has possible benefits as well as potential risks. You may want to discuss the following issues with your doctor and the people who are close to you.
• You may have more treatment options.
• If and/or when a new treatment is proven to work, you may be among the first to benefit.
• By looking at the pros and cons of a clinical research study and your other treatment choices, you are taking an active role in a decision that affects your life and health.
• In some studies, you may receive additional medical tests or the treatment being studied at less cost or no cost to you.
• You have the opportunity to help others by contributing to research that can improve cancer treatment.
• You may have potentially improved health status should the study treatment prove effective.
• A more comprehensive cancer care team including the assistance of trained research nurses and associates.
• New treatments under study may not prove to be more beneficial than standard care.
• New treatments may have unexpected side effects, or side effects that are worse than those of standard treatment.
• Even if a new treatment has benefits, it may not work well for you. Even standard treatments, while proven to be effective for many people, do not help everyone.
• Health insurance and managed care providers do not always cover all patient care costs for a study. What they do cover varies by plan and by study. To find out in advance what costs are likely to be paid, check with your insurance provider and talk to a doctor, nurse or social worker who is part of the study team.