Is a Clinical Trial Right for You?


To educate you about clinical trials and help you obtain up-to-date, accurate information about current offerings, the Cancer Center at BIDMC is now offering Virtual Consults for patients who have been diagnosed with a gastrointestinal (GI) cancer and want to learn more about clinical trials.

Why should I consider a Virtual Consult with the cancer clinical trials team at BIDMC?

A virtual clinical trial consultation is an opportunity to learn more about the cancer clinical trial experience and the trial options that may be appropriate for your situation. Whether you are newly diagnosed with localized or metastatic cancer, or facing a recurrent cancer, the BIDMC study team can provide you with an overview of your options. We hope your Virtual Consult will help you make the right decision for you.

Who can participate in a Virtual Consult?

Any resident of Massachusetts who is being treated for gastrointestinal cancer at BIDMC may request a Virtual Consult. The restriction to state residents is due to state licensing requirements.

For what types of cancer do you offer clinical trials?

While BIDMC offers clinical trials for most types of cancer, our Virtual Consults currently focus on GI cancers. Cancers treated by the GI cancer group include:

  • Anal
  • Biliary tract cancers (cholangiocarcinoma and gall bladder)
  • Colon and rectum
  • Esophagus
  • Gastrointestinal stromal tumors (GIST)
  • Liver
  • Neuroendocrine tumors and carcinoma
  • Pancreas
  • Stomach

Why is BIDMC offering Virtual Consults?

We believe that more patients would participate in clinical trials if it were easier to obtain information and receive answers to their questions. We have developed an interactive video format for Virtual Consults that allows us to provide you with personalized information while sparing you the need to drive into Boston and park.

With whom will I speak during the consultation?

During your Virtual Consult, you will speak directly with a research nurse practitioner (NP) or a physician (MD) from our program who specializes in medical oncology for gastrointestinal cancers.

What can I expect during my consultation?

We will provide you with information about how to log into an application with your tablet computer or smart phone. After you log in, you will be connected to a video consultation with one of our research NPs or medical oncologists. The NP/MD will review your medical history, discuss current and upcoming trials offered at the BIDMC Cancer Center and answer any questions you may have.

Will my consultation be private and secure?

Yes, Virtual Consults are conducted over a secure, platform that is compliant with the federal health care privacy law.

How much does a consultation cost?

There is no fee for a Virtual Consult. After the consultation, if you decide to participate in a cancer clinical trial, the BIDMC team will discuss with you which medical expenses will be covered by the trial sponsor and which will be billed to your insurance.

What devices or computers can I use for the virtual consultation?

You can use any iOS or Android mobile device, such as a tablet or smartphone, as well as any camera-enabled Mac or PC. If you use a mobile device, search "ZOOM" in the app store and download the free application.

Whom should I contact if I have additional questions about whether this is right for me or my loved one?

Please email BIDMC's Cancer Clinical Trials Team and we will respond promptly.