Clinical Trials

Many view taking part in a clinical trial as a very positive experience. Some of the benefits include:

Often studies are randomised, so you will not know whether you are receiving the new or the standard treatment. Some research has shown that taking part in a trial improves long-term survival, even if you do not have the drug/procedure being tested. The reasons for this are not clear, however it has been suggested that hospitals which undertake medical research provide better treatment.

You also need to consider that new treatments are not always better than standard treatments. The new drug or treatment might not work for you and sometimes there are unexpected side effects.

Many trials compare new treatments with standard treatments, you may be selected to receive either the new treatment or the standard treatment. So, by agreeing to be in a trial, it does not necessarily mean you will receive the new drug being tested.

You may be eligible to take part in a trial. They have strict criteria for joining them to make sure that the results can be relied upon by comparing like with like, and not all treatment centres are involved in trials. Your oncologist should know what is possible, but sometimes you may need to ask specifically about clinical trials.

You might want to ask:

You may also be asked to take part in research studies, for example into your wellbeing, which may involve taking part in interviews and surveys.

Remember, if you are suitable, it is your decision whether or not to join a clinical trial.

click to progress