Mesothelioma Essentials: Mesothelioma Information, Support, and Resources
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Check Journal Updates for articles reporting on the results of clinical trials -- it's in our "Resources and Further Reading" section.


Clinical Trials

What are they? | Phases | Benefits | Risks | Questions to Ask | Finding Clinical Trials

Risks Involved in Clinical Trials

Great efforts are made to ensure safety for patients participating in clinical trials. Still, risks remain. These risks are greater in Phase I and II studies than in Phase III or IV studies. Discuss possible risks with your doctor. Before you enter a trial, your healthcare provider will talk with you in detail about the risks and benefits of the treatment.

  placebo: a substance containing no medication that is precribed or given to reinforce a patient's expectation of getting well

Some patients are concerned that they will be “guinea pigs” for medical science if they participate in a clinical trial. In Phase III cancer clinical trials, the new treatment being tested is compared with the standard treatment. This means that in most cases a patient will be receiving at least standard treatment for their cancer. If a placebo is used in a trial you will be informed verbally and in writing about your chance of receiving the placebo.

Not all treatments work for all people. Clinical trials offer patients one more treatment option. They represent an opportunity to receive up-to-date treatment and contribute to medical science and humanity at the same time. The good that can come from a clinical trial generally outweighs the risks.

Informed Consent

  consent form: a form that advises patients about all potential risks and benefits of any treatment they are to receive; a standard procedure in all hospitals and clinics

If you decide to join a clinical trial, you will be asked to sign an informed consent form. This document is required by all institutions. When you sign the informed consent, you are stating that you have discussed the clinical trial with your doctor or nurse, that you have been told about the possible risks and benefits, and that you are participating in the trial because you want and choose to do so of your own free will.

Questions to Ask

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