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Learn About Clinical Trials

  • Updated: 11/02/2012

Questions to Ask Your Doctor About Treatment Clinical Trials

If you are thinking about taking part in a clinical trial, be sure to ask your doctor, “Is there a clinical trial that I can join?” If your doctor offers you a trial, here are some questions you may want to ask.

About this trial

  • What is the purpose of the trial?
  • Why do the researchers believe that the treatment being studied may be better than the one being used now? Why may it not be better?
  • How long will I be in the trial?
  • What kinds of tests and treatments are involved?
  • How will the doctor know if the treatment is working?
  • How will I be told about the trial’s results?
  • How long do I have to make up my mind about joining this trial?
  • Who can I speak with about questions I have during and after the trial?
  • Who will be in charge of my care?
  • Is there someone I can talk to who has been in the trial?

Risks and Benefits

  • What are the possible side effects or risks of the new treatment?
  • What are the possible benefits?
  • How do the possible risks and benefits of this trial compare to those of the standard treatment?

Rights

  • How will my health information be kept private?
  • What happens if I decide to leave the trial?

Costs

  • Will I have to pay for any of the treatments or tests?
  • What costs will my health insurance cover?
  • Who pays if I’m injured in the trial?
  • Who can help answer any questions from my insurance company?

Daily life

  • How could the trial affect my daily life?
  • How often will I have to come to the hospital or clinic?
  • Will I have to stay in the hospital during the clinical trial? If so, how often and for how long?
  • Will I have to travel long distances?
  • Will I have check-ups after the trial?

Comparing choices

  • What are my other treatment choices, including standard treatments?
  • How does the treatment I would receive in this trial compare with the other treatment choices?
  • What will happen to my cancer without treatment?