Questions to Ask about Clinical Trials

Before deciding to participate in a cancer clinical trial, patients should know as much as possible about the clinical trial. It is important for patients to feel comfortable asking questions, and the staff should answer these questions in a way that patients can understand. It may be helpful to write down the questions to ask before the appointment.

Questions about the clinical trial

  • Why is the clinical trial being done?
  • What is the purpose of this clinical trial?
  • Who is sponsoring the clinical trial?
  • Where can I get access to the clinical trial?

Questions about your participation

  • What other treatment options do I have?
  • Does the clinical trial involve a placebo or a treatment that is already on the market?
  • What tests and treatments are done as part of the clinical trial?
  • How will the tests in the clinical trial compare to tests I would have outside of the clinical trial?
  • How often do I have to go to the office or clinic where the clinical trial is being done?
  • Will I have to be in the hospital during the clinical trial?
  • How long is the clinical trial going to last?
  • What has been learned about the clinical trial treatment and are any clinical trial results published?
  • If the treatment works for me, can I keep using it after the clinical trial ends?
  • Can anyone find out whether I am participating in the clinical trial?
  • Can I talk to other people in the clinical trial?
  • Will I receive any follow-up care after the clinical trial has ended?
  • What will happen to my medical care if I stop participating in the clinical trial?
  • Will I be able to see my own doctor?
  • Does the physician/investigator have any financial or special interest in the clinical trial?

Questions about the risks and benefits of the clinical trial

  • What are the possible short- and long-term side effects of the treatment?
  • How do the possible risks and benefits of the clinical trial compare with standard treatments for my cancer?

Questions about the costs of the clinical trial

  • Do I have to pay for any part of the clinical trial?
  • What are the charges likely to be?
  • Will my insurance cover these costs?
  • Are there ways I can get my expenses paid?

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