Participate in a Study

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Clinical Study Checklist

Finding the Right Clinical Study: Checklist

For cancer treatment studies, ask the following questions:

  • What clinical studies are open to people with my disease?

  • Do I meet the eligibility requirements for this study?

  • What phase is the study? (To read more about phases of clinical trials and what this means to patients, click here).

  • What is being tested in this trial, and how will I benefit from participating? (For example, will I gain access to a new and promising treatment not available outside of a study?)

  • Where is the trial offered, and are the logistics doable for me? (Large clinical studies are often conducted at several medical centers around the country.)

  • Do I understand the informed consent documents?

The informed consent documents should answer the questions below. If you can not answer these questions after reading the documents, ask for clarification before you agree to go further:

  • What are the potential benefits compared to other treatment options?

  • What are the risks?

  • How do the possible side effects compare to the side effects of standard treatment?

  • Does my family understand the risks, and are they comfortable with them?

  • What does the study involve: what kinds of tests and treatments?

  • How long will the study last?

  • Have the doctors and researchers conducting the study disclosed any conflicts of interest, such as research grants from drug companies?

  • Who will monitor my care and safety during the trial?

  • If something does go wrong and I am harmed by the trial, what would I be entitled to?

  • What kinds of support will be available to me and to my family during the trial?

  • What happens after the trial: Is long-term follow-up care available?