An essential part of cancer research is the clinical trial. A clinical trial is a study where people, especially cancer patients, help doctors and scientists discover new ways of developing treatment for cancers and improving health care. As studies are conducted, scientists try to discover better ways of preventing, diagnosing and treating cancer.
Clinical trials are made as part of the stages in cancer research. Several studies are made together with cancer patients. Good cancer treatments start with basic research in the laboratory. This basic research is analyzed, and the best results are then tried in patient studies. These studies are done with cancer patients so as to find out whether the new treatments for cancer prevention, diagnosis and treatment are safe and effective. All these are done in the hope of finding results that will help many more people.
Each clinical trial has its own set of criteria for those whom it will allow to take part in it. These criteria are based on the type of clinical trial that will be done. As each clinical trial is going to answer a specific set of questions regarding cancer treatment, there are also specific criteria to which the respondents of the clinical trials should pass. The study can only be conclusive if all the respondents in the study have the same characteristics. These guidelines and criteria are available to those who wish to be part of the clinical trial.
If you are interested in taking part in a clinical trial, below are some information on how to participate in clinical trials for cancer.
- Personal interview. You will be asked personal information as part of the process of gathering information about you. The usual data that you will be asked to provide would be: gender, age, ethnicity, education, occupation and lifestyle.
- Health related information. Since the results of the clinical trial will be for answering a specific question and for a specific case, the participant in the clinical trial should fit the profile that is needed. You will be asked for the following health related information: site of cancer, stage of cancer, previous treatments, previous treatment outcomes, health and wellness background, allergy history, and family health history.
- Doctor's referral. Most of the time, it is the doctor who recommends the patient take part in the clinical trial. Of course, some patients find out about clinical trials from other sources. In cases such as this, the clinic conducting the clinical trial might ask you to provide papers that show that your doctor approves your joining in the clinical trial.
Being diagnosed with cancer and deciding to take part in a clinical trial that may provide the treatment for your cancer is a big decision to make. Make sure to consult and discuss your plan with medical experts (especially your doctor). The clinical study's main purpose is to test whether a specific treatment is indeed beneficial to particular cancer patients. As a part of the clinical study, you must be aware of the role that you play in the research study. You should be willing to take part in it.