Every new treatment and diagnostic method for cancer stem from years of testing and research.
Diligent researchers, such as those from Jean Brown Research, learn which treatments and techniques are useful and whether there are side effects. They also learn the various phases of clinical trials, which allow them to discover a new standard in approaching cancer care.
For some patients faced with a dire prognosis, finding a clinical trial to join is like discovering a gold mine. Others, meanwhile, may find it difficult to weigh the pros and cons.
Here are some things to know before joining a clinical trial:
You Are in Control
On top of a discussion with your doctor as well as plenty of research, you need to sign an informed consent form. The form will list information such as the master protocol, a detailed plan on how the trial will go and what its purpose is. It will detail possible benefits and potential risks. During the study, you may need to sign an updated consent form if any new side effects or potential risks surface so that you could continue with the trial.
If you feel apprehensive or uncomfortable in the middle of treatment, you may choose to leave anytime during a trial. Participating in the clinical trial should be purely voluntary and not in any way binding.
No Guarantees, But There’s Hope for the Future
Many patients decide to join a clinical trial in hopes of receiving a new, promising treatment. For some, it may be the final option if their body refuses to respond to standard treatment. For patients suffering from a rare form of cancer, the trial can be their only chance for survival.
Clinical trials have no guarantees. However, if they prove to be successful, future patients will have a better chance of winning their battle. For those with a rare disease, a step closer to finding an effective treatment means everything.