There are many reasons people take part in research studies. Often it gives them access to new therapies, including medications, not available to the general public.. Close monitoring of patients and their treatment allows doctors to find out more about a patient’s disease and its potential side effects.. While a patient may not benefit directly from a clinical trial, the information gathered may help other patients with the same condition in the future. Many patients derive satisfaction from knowing that they are part of the effort to improve the care of cancer now and in the future.
Because clinical trials are investigational, all the risks and benefits of treatment may not be known yet. A health-care provider will discuss potential risks and side effects before trial enrollment.
Benefits may include the following
- Playing a more active role in one’s own health care
- Gaining access to new research treatments before they are widely available;
- Obtaining expert medical care at leading health care facilities during the trial
- Helping other patients by contributing to medical research
- Helping scientists find new and better cancer treatments
Risks may include the following:
- Unpleasant side effects
- Serious side effects
- Unknown health risks
Patients in clinical trials are closely monitored and may be seen more often by health-care providers and receive feedback on their condition more frequently.