Participate in a Study

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What to Expect in a Clinical Study

Your experience in a clinical study will depend on the type of study you enroll in and the type of cancer that you have.

Some studies test new ways of preventing cancer, or of keeping it from coming back. Other studies compare different types of imaging (mammogram vs. other types of scans, for example), to see which is the more accurate. Some compare two or more types of treatment, to see which is more effective or has fewer side effects. And some trials look at the quality of life or coping skills of people living with cancer.

Sometimes, participating in a cancer clinical study is as simple as agreeing to let researchers have a copy of the results of a test you would have had anyway, such as an MRI.

Other studies are more involved and may require more tests and visits to the clinic than a standard treatment regimen would.

Patients who enroll in clinical studies are not isolated in a laboratory or special research facility. If you decide to enroll in a treatment trial at SCCA, you will see the same doctors and nurses, and receive treatment in the same clinic, as if you were receiving the standard treatment for your disease.

You will receive the same high level of care at SCCA whether you are enrolled in a clinical study or not. Similarly, the quality of care will not vary if you choose one clinical trial over another.

Patient safety is important to us at SCCA. We do everything we can to protect all our patients against unnecessary risks while in cancer treatment, whether in a clinical study or not.

Click here to read more about patient safety.

If you have a child with cancer, you will want to read about children and clinical studies. If you are an older person with cancer, or you have an older family member or friend with cancer, you may want to read about older patients' participation in clinical studies.