What are clinical trials? These are people-based studies testing new methods of screening, prevention, diagnosis or treatment of a disease. Cancer treatment clinical trials are studies to find better ways to treat cancer. These trials often compare the most accepted cancer treatment with a new treatment that doctors hope will be better.
Are clinical trials right for you? There is no correct answer to that question. Clinical trials may be right for some people, and not for others. You may want to weigh the pros and cons of clinical trials in making a decision of which treatment to undergo.
Benefits of clinical trials:
- Patients have access to promising new approaches that are often not available outside the clinical trials setting.
- The approach being studied may be more effective than the standard approach.
- Patients receive regular and careful medical attention from a research team that includes doctors and other health professionals.
- Patients may be the first to benefit from the new method under study.
- Results from the study may help others in the future.
- New drugs or procedures under study are not always better than the standard care to which they are being compared.
- New treatments may have side effects or risks that doctors do not expect or that are worse than those from standard care.
- Patients in randomized trials will not be able to choose the approach they receive.
- Health insurance and managed care providers may not cover all patient care costs in a study.
- Patients may be required to make more visits to the doctor than they would if they were not in a clinical trial.
Taking part in a clinical trial is up to you. It is important to look at all of your treatment options with the help of your family and doctor.
For more information about any cancer concern, contact:
Cancer Information Service
Holden Comprehensive Cancer Center
UI Hospitals and Clinics
200 Hawkins Drive, 4802 JPP
Iowa City, Iowa 52242