Clinical Trials FAQs
How do I know if there is a trial for me?
Clinical trials are usually designed for a specific type of cancer. Anyone on your medical team can answer questions you have about your diagnosis and treatment plan, as well as any clinical trials that are appropriate for you. A very good website to search for clinical trials is www.clinicaltrials.gov
Active Clinical Trials
list trials that are specifically for patients with cancers of the bile ducts, galbladder and liver. Check this page often, as the status of all trials changes frequently.
What is involved in agreeing to participate in a clinical trial?
Your doctor and other care team members will thoroughly discuss your treatments options, as well as the details of the trial you are being considered for. There may be additional questions you are asked or previous medical information that will be reviewed. You will be given a document called the Informed Consent Document to read and sign if you are willing to participate in the trial. The consent will describe the purpose of the trial, the schedule for tests, scans, clinic visits, treatments and anything else required of you.
What is randomization and why is it important?
The best way for doctors to learn if a new treatment is safe and better than the existing treatment is to compare treatments in groups of patients that are similar (type and stage of cancer and how many treatments they've had). In studies that compare treatments, patients are randomly assigned to a treatment group to eliminate bias that might occur if the patient or the doctor were allowed to select the treatment.
Will I receive the new treatment or a sugar pill?
In some trials, the patients and the doctor are blinded to the group the patient was randomized to, which also eliminates bias. In blinded trials, patients may receive a placebo, a harmless substance that appears just like an actual drug.
Are there extra costs involved in signing up for a trial?
In most cases, any tests, procedures and drugs that are specific for the clinical trial are paid for and provided by the study. This is an important question to ask your medical team.
Will my insurance cover costs?
Generally, any tests, procedures or drugs that your doctor feels you would be receiving with standard treatment will be billed to your medical insurance.
How long will I be on the trial?
In most clinical trials, patients continue to receive the study treatment for as long as the treatment is safe and is working.
What if I change my mind?
It is always a patient's choice whether to receive any treatment, including a clinical trial.
Last Updated on 11/15/2012 12:54:44 PM