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How to Find a Cancer Treatment Trial: A 10-Step Guide

  • Updated: 06/08/2010

Step 7: Contact the Clinical Trial Team

There are many ways to contact the clinical trial team.

  • Contact the trial team directly. The clinical trial summary should include the phone number of a person or an office that you can contact for more information. You do not need to talk to the lead researcher (called the “protocol chair” or “principal investigator”) at this time, even if his or her name is given along with the telephone number. Instead, call the number and ask to speak with the “trial coordinator,” the “referral coordinator,” or the “protocol assistant.” This person can answer questions from patients and their doctors. It is also this person’s job to decide whether you are likely to be eligible to join the trial. (A final decision will probably not be made until you have had a visit with a doctor who is taking part in the trial.)

  • Ask your doctor or another health care team member to contact the trial team for you. Because the clinical trial coordinator will ask questions about your cancer diagnosis and your current general health, you may want to ask your doctor or someone else on your health care team to contact the clinical trial team for you.

  • The trial team may contact you. If you have used the Web site of a clinical trial listing service and found a trial that interests you, you may have provided your name, phone number, and e-mail address so the clinical trial team can contact you directly.

You will need to refer to your Cancer Details Checklist (PDF—91KB) during this conversation, so keep it handy.