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More about Clinical Trials

Posted 2/16/2016

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  After yesterday's entry about non-reporting (to patients/participants) the results of clinical trials, I realize that it might be helpful to share some resources about clinical trials. These are all from Cancer Net, ASCO's patient information site.

  The first is about considering participation in a trial:

Deciding to Participate in a Clinical Trial
Approved by the Cancer.Net Editorial Board, 01/2016
Deciding to participate in a clinical trial is a complex decision. For some patients, a clinical trial may be the best treatment option available, despite the uncertainty of the outcome. Other patients volunteer for clinical trials because they know that these studies make progress in treating cancer. Even if patients do not benefit directly, their participation may benefit future patients with cancer. This helps some people feel that they are making a difference and gives them a positive feeling.
More than 60% of children with cancer are treated as part of a clinical trial. Because cancer in children is rare, doctors rely on clinical trials to plan the most effective treatments. Virtually every cancer treatment available today—for children and adults—is the direct result of clinical research.

Read more:

The Questions to Ask the Research Team
Approved by the Cancer.Net Editorial Board, 01/2016
Before deciding to participate in a clinical trial, you should know as much as possible about the study. It is important for you to feel comfortable asking questions, and the staff should answer them in a way that you can easily understand. All patients participating in a clinical trial will go through the process called “informed consent” to learn about the study. During this process, you will have several chances to ask questions and learn about the clinical trial. Read more about informed consent and patient safety in clinical trials.
Try to think of your questions before the appointment, and bring along a way to keep track of the answers you receive. For example, you may want to write down or print out your list of questions to bring with you. You can also download Cancer.Net’s free mobile app for a list of questions and other interactive tools to manage your care. You may also want to bring a friend or family member to help you record and remember the answers.

Read more:

And finally, learn more about Informed Consent and safety:

Patient Safety and Informed Consent
Approved by the Cancer.Net Editorial Board, 01/2016

Patient safety is the top concern in clinical trials. That’s why every research study must follow a rigorous review and oversight process.

Regulation of clinical trials
Several committees and agencies watch over patient safety before, during, and after a clinical trial.
Institutional Review Board (IRB). An IRB is an independent committee that ensures a clinical trial is ethical.
The committee also makes sure that researchers protect the rights and welfare of people in a study. An IRB
can include:
Statisticians, who expertly prepare and analyze statistics
Community advocates

Read more:


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