Finding the Right Clinical Study

Finding the Right Clinical Study

Your Seattle Cancer Care Alliance (SCCA) doctor has detailed knowledge about studies that may be available for people with your type and stage of cancer or other illness, and he or she is uniquely qualified to assess the potential of a new treatment for your condition.

If you are willing to participate in a clinical study, your doctor will help you determine if there are studies you may be eligible for and which one, if any, is the best choice for you. For some rare kinds of cancer, there are very few clinical studies available. For other types of cancer, you may have several studies to choose from.

Use our list of questions to ask about clinical studies to gather details on each study you’re considering. If you are eligible for a large number of studies, you may want to enlist a friend or family member to help you collect and sift through the information.

Second Opinions

Ask as many questions of your treatment team as you need to feel comfortable before deciding to participate in a study. Talk with them about how much time you have to decide on a course of treatment. Depending on your disease, doctors may need to start treatment very quickly, or you may have days or weeks to make a treatment choice.

Doctors understand that you may want a second opinion before deciding, and they will not be offended if you ask about getting one. The ideal way to do this is to discuss it with your primary oncologist to ensure that any consulting doctor has timely access to your full medical information.

NCI Cancer Information Service

The National Cancer Institute (NCI) is a good source of up-to-date, trustworthy information. NCI’s Cancer Information Service is a free, confidential service that can give you information about clinical studies, including helping you search for clinical studies that may be appropriate for you. To contact the service:

  • Call (800) 4-CANCER (800-422-6237), Monday through Friday, 5 a.m. to 5 p.m.
  • Chat online at LiveHelp, Monday through Friday, 5 a.m. to 8 p.m.
  • Email anytime using the NCI contact form.