Clinical trials are experiments, so they may have risks as well as benefits. Risks depend on the treatment being studied and the health of people who participate.
Benefits: Patients in clinical trials may receive treatments not yet available to everyone. But there is no guarantee that clinical trial treatments will help or improve your medical condition. Taking part in the search for new and better cancer treatments can be personally satisfying. You will be helping others.
Risks: Clinical trial treatments can cause side effects and other health risks. The risks depend on the type of treatment and your health. You always make the final decision about taking part, and not until after you understand all the potential risks and benefits. You have the right to stop participating in a clinical trial at any time and for any reason.
Patient participants are essential to clinical trials. Ask your doctor if a clinical trial is right for you. Each clinical trial accepts patients with a specific type and stage of cancer. In general, you must meet these conditions:
- Doctors have diagnosed and checked the stage of your cancer.
- A doctor has reviewed your general health, and your health meets study requirements.
- We have answered all your questions about the clinical trial.
- You understand the possible benefits and risks of participating in a clinical trial.
- You have signed and submitted your informed consent form.
Before you decide to take part, doctors and clinical trial coordinators tell you all the known risks. The medical team closely watches the health of every patient who participates.