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What are important questions to ask about a clinical trial

If you are thinking about taking part in a clinical trial, here are some important questions to ask:

  • What is the purpose of the study?
  • What does the study involve? What kinds of tests and treatments? (Find out what is done and how it is done.)
  • What is likely to happen in my case with, or without, this new research treatment? (What may the cancer do and what may this treatment do?)
  • What are other choices and their advantages and disadvantages? (Are there standard treatments for my case and how does the study compare with them?)
  • How could this study affect my daily life?
  • What side effects could I expect from this study? (There can also be side effects from standard treatments and from the disease itself.)
  • How long will the study last? (Will it require an extra time commitment on my part?)
  • Will I have to be hospitalized? If so, how often and for how long?
  • Will I have any costs? Will any of the treatment be free? Will my insurance cover the costs?
  • If I am harmed as a result of the research, what treatment would I be entitled to?
  • What type of long-term follow up care is part of the study?
The above information is taken from "What Are Clinical Trials All About?" published by the National Institutes of Health, National Cancer Institute