A clinical trial is a research study involving patient volunteers. These studies test new ways to prevent, detect, diagnose, or treat diseases. Each trial is carefully designed to test the effects of medications, medical treatments, and/or devices.
All trials are conducted according to a strict protocol, which describes what types of patients may enter the study, as well as the schedule of tests, procedures, drugs, dosages and duration of the study. All participants must agree to follow protocol.
No clinical trial is completely without risk, and patients who wish to volunteer should understand the possibility of unpleasant, serious or even life-threatening side effects. Additionally, some trials can be time consuming and ineffective.
Before volunteering in a clinical trial, be sure to keep yourself informed about the study, its purpose and any possible challenges you may face along the way. It would be a good idea to ask your doctor or a member of our research staff the following questions if you are considering taking advantage of a clinical trial:
What is the purpose of this trial?
How will I receive treatment?
How long is the trial going to last?
What will I be asked to do?
Do I have to pay for any part of the trial?
Will my insurance cover these costs?
Will I be able to see my own doctor?
If the treatment works for me, can I keep using it after the trial?
Can someone find out if I’m participating in a trial?
Will I receive any follow-up care after the trial has ended?
What will happen to my medical care if I stop participating in the trial?