Frequently Asked Questions
Who can participate in a clinical trial for cancer?
To qualify for a particular study, participants must meet a carefully defined set of criteria. These usually relate to age and gender, cancer type and stage, and the types of treatments they have already received.
What information do participants receive about clinical trials?
Before agreeing to participate, patients learn about possible risks and benefits of the therapy being studied. As the trial progresses, participants are given new information that may affect their willingness to stay in the trial. Participants may withdraw from the trial at any time.
How are patients protected?
Before any clinical trial begins, it must be approved by its host institution's Institutional Review Board (IRB), which includes researchers and physicians. The IRB considers whether proposed studies are safe and well planned and whether they will ultimately advance patient care. It also reviews studies to ensure patients are adequately informed about the risks of participating in clinical research. In all studies, the health of each patient is closely monitored during the course of the trial.
What are the different phases of a clinical trial for cancer?
Cancer clinical trials are divided into three distinct stages. Only when the third stage has been successfully completed, and the Food and Drug Administration has given its approval, can a new treatment become part of standard therapy.