Jun 21, 2018 1:00 PM

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Talk with your doctor to find out if a clinical trial is right for you.

What are clinical trials?

Clinical trials are research studies that test new medical treatments in people. Cancer clinical trials test new ways to treat, diagnose, or prevent cancer. Nearly all cancer treatment used today started as a clinical trial.

Clinical trials that focus on treatments are not considered standard treatment. Clinical trials go through phases before becoming a standard treatment:

  • In the early phases (phases 1 and 2): Researchers figure out whether a new treatment is safe, what its side effects are, and the best dose of the new treatment.
  • In the later phase (phase 3): Researchers keep studying the treatment’s safety. They also look at whether the treatment works better than the current standard therapy. Phase 3 trials include large numbers of people to make sure that the result is valid.

Participation in a clinical trial is completely voluntary. Patients can leave the trial at any time.

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How do I know if a clinical trial is right for me?

The first step is to talk with your doctor. Your doctor already knows about your treatment, medical history, and preferences. Write down a list of questions you have about clinical trials and bring it with you to your doctor appointment. Your doctor can answer your questions and may even know about clinical trials that may be right for you.

Every treatment option has benefits and risks, including clinical trials. Your doctor will talk with you about the benefits and risks of clinical trials.

Some disease types may not have a clinical trial available. Your medical history may also affect whether or not you are eligible to participate in a clinical trial.

Is there a cost to take part in a clinical trial?

It depends on the trial. Some clinical trial costs may be paid by the study sponsor. Many clinical trials include some standard treatments that you or your insurance need to pay for. Before you join a clinical trial, the study coordinators will discuss potential costs with you.

If you are worried about paying for treatment from a clinical trial, speak with a financial counselor at your hospital.

Where can I look for clinical trials online?

These websites can help you find clinical trials:

It is helpful to know the type and stage of your cancer before starting your search, as well as your medical history.

Can I take part in a clinical trial at Huntsman Cancer Institute (HCI)?

Talk with your doctor to see if there are any clinical trials at HCI that would be a good fit for you. At any given time, HCI has about 200 clinical trials for many types of cancer. You can search these clinical trials online.

Learn more about clinical trials.

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