Participating in early stage cancer treatment research

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Currently, people are living longer because of successful cancer treatments that are the result of previous clinical studies.

Doctors use clinical studies to determine whether new treatments are safe, effective, and work better than current treatments.

By participating in clinical trials, you will expand our knowledge of cancer and help improve cancer care for future patients.

Clinical trials are the key to progress in the fight against cancer.

The general criteria for taking the test are:

Presence of certain types of cancer or certain stages have received (or have not received) certain forms of therapy in the past.

There are specific genetic changes in your tumor that:

  • Belong to a certain age group
  • Medical history
  • Current health conditions

Criteria such as these help ensure that the people in the study are as similar as possible.

This way, the doctor can be sure that the results are due to the treatment being studied and not due to other factors.

These criteria also help ensure that:


Some people have health problems other than cancer that can be made worse by treatment in one study.

If you choose to participate in the study, you will be given medical tests to make sure you are not at higher risk.

Accurate and meaningful research results

You may not be able to participate in some clinical trials if you have received other treatments for your cancer.

Otherwise, your doctor may not be sure whether your results are due to the treatments you studied or previous treatments.

Patient care fees are paid for clinical studies.

However, in addition to the cost of patient care, research costs are also included.

Patient care costs are costs associated with your cancer treatment, regardless of whether you are studying or receiving standard therapy.

These costs are often covered by health insurance companies. This includes:

  • Visits to the doctor
  • Hospitalization
  • Standard cancer treatment
  • Medications to reduce or eliminate cancer symptoms or side effects of treatment
  • Laboratory test
  • X-rays and other imaging tests
  • The decision to participate in clinical studies

Whenever you need cancer treatment, clinical trials can be an option for you.

The decision to take part in a clinical trial can only be made jointly by you, your relatives, and your doctors and nurses.

This section contains information that you can use in weighing your treatment options and making an informed decision.

Assessing the Pros and Cons

Like other treatment options, clinical trials have potential advantages and disadvantages.

You can discuss the following with your doctor and loved ones.

Possible benefits

Clinical studies offer high-quality cancer treatment.

If you are randomized into the study and do not receive the new test treatment, you will be given the standard treatment that everyone knows about.

This may be as good as or better than the new approach.

When a new treatment proves effective and you are given it, you may be one of the first to benefit.

By considering all of your treatment options, including clinical trials, you are taking an active role in decisions that will affect your life.

Have the opportunity to help others and improve cancer care.

Possible disadvantages

The new research being researched isn’t always better or even as good as standard care.

If you are given standard treatment instead of the new treatment you are testing, it may not be as effective as the new approach.

New treatments can have side effects that doctors don’t expect or are worse than standard treatments.

Even if a new treatment has benefits, it may not work for you.

Even standard treatments that have proven effective in many people don’t help everyone.

Health insurance and managed care providers may not cover all the costs of treating patients in a study.

What they cover varies depending on the plan and study.

You can find out which costs are likely to be covered in advance from your health insurance company and the accounting staff at the hospital or doctor’s office.

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