Frequently Asked Questions
Why should I participate in a clinical trial?
Participants in clinical trials can play a more active role in their own healthcare, gain access to new research treatments before they are widely available, and help others by contributing to medical research.
Who can participate in a clinical trial?
All clinical trials have specific guidelines about who can participate. These guidelines are based on such factors as age, gender, indication, previous treatments, and other medical conditions. Before participating in a clinical trial, a participant must qualify for the study. These qualifications are used to identify appropriate participants, keep them safe, and ensure that researchers will be able to answer the questions they plan to study.
What should I know for my first visit?
- All clinical trials follow a carefully controlled protocol, a study plan which details what researchers will do in the study
- Plan ahead and write down possible questions to ask.
- Ask a friend or relative to come along for support and to hear the responses to the questions.
- Bring a current list of medications and pertinent medical history.
What should I consider before participating in a trial?
You should know as much as possible about the clinical trial and feel comfortable asking the members of the research staff questions about it. The following questions might be helpful for you to ask during your visit.
- What is the purpose of the study?
- Has the medication been tested before?
- What kinds of tests and treatments are involved?
- How long will the trial last?
- Will I be reimbursed for my time?
- Who will be in charge of my care?
Can I continue to work with my primary physician while participating in a trial?
Yes. Clinical trials provide short-term care for a designated condition, but do not provide complete health care. In addition, by having the primary physician work with the research staff, we can ensure that other medications or treatments will not conflict with the protocol.
What are the benefits of participating in a clinical trial?
- You can play an active role in your health care.
- Obtain free medical care during the trial.
- Help others by contributing to medical research.
How is my safety protected during the course of the trial?
Clinical research is federally regulated with built in safeguards to protect the participants.
Every clinical trial in the U.S. must be approved and monitored by an Institutional Review Board (IRB) to make sure the risks are as low as possible and are worth any potential benefits. An IRB is an independent committee of physicians, statisticians, community advocates, and others that ensure a clinical trial is ethical and the rights of study participants are protected.
Can I leave a clinical trial after it has begun?
Yes. You may leave a clinical trial, at any time. When withdrawing from the trial, we ask that you notify your study coordinator of your decision and return for one final visit for your safety.