About Clinical Trials
After a cancer diagnosis, it is recommended of patients conduct research into their treatment options. One option that you may come across are clinical trials. A clinical trial is a study that aims to study different types of cancer and treatments available. These are conducted with volunteer patients with these specific diseases.
Should I Enter a Clinical Trial?
Like all treatments, clinical trials are an option worth considering. A clinical trial may:
- Allow patients access to treatments that were otherwise unavailable
- Offer patient the possibility of experiencing lower side effects compared to older therapies
- Help improve treatments to all cancer patients
Questions to Consider
No two clinical trials are the same, but it is important to ask questions that help you chose whether or not this is a suitable treatment option for you. Some things to consider are discussed below.
Do you have to have tried all other treatments before the trial?
This depends on the trial. Some clinical trials require patients who have not completed any treatments, while others need patients who have tried them all. This is specific to each individual trial.
What is being studied?
Typically, clinical trials operate with the purpose of finding a better way of treating and/or curing cancer. A trial could be testing a new drug, a new method of transmitting a drug, new combinations of drugs and/or methods in which to reduce side-effects to name a few.
Is it safe?
There are strict rules in place when it comes to clinical trials. There are a number of government implemented rules that doctors are required to follow.
Will my insurance cover it?
Depending on the trial, the costs are often covered by the clinical team.
The Pros and Cons of Clinical Trials
- Trial of new treatments
- Access to the care of medical experts in leading hospitals
- Helping the future of cancer research
- Potential to benefit from the treatment
- You may experience new side effects
- Being in a trial means you need further testing and it can take more time
- It can be difficult to get into a clinical trial