Ask the right questions before participating in clinical trial
BY DR. KOMOROFF Universal Uclick
Friday, December 14, 2012
12/14/12 at 4:52 AM
Dear Doctor K: I have prostate disease and treatment hasn't worked. My doctor suggested I participate in a clinical trial. I'd like to know more before I give him an answer.
Dear Reader: When established treatments aren't effective, participation in a clinical trial can be a good option. Such trials give you access to promising treatments that might work better than one already on the market.
On the other hand, clinical trials test treatments that are still under investigation. There may be unpleasant or serious side effects. Clinical trials are designed to minimize risks to participants, but they cannot completely eliminate them.
If you participate in a placebo-controlled study, you could receive a placebo instead of the active treatment.
Before you make your decision, ask these questions:
If you agree to join the study and later change your mind, you are free to stop participating. Ask what care you will receive if you leave the study before it concludes.
- Why is the study being done?
- Have other studies evaluated this drug or procedure? What were the results?
- Is there a chance I will receive a placebo?
- What are the possible risks and benefits of participating?
- What other treatment options do I have?
- What treatments, tests and procedures will I receive?
- Can I keep taking my regular medications?
- Will I have to pay for any treatments or tests?
- If the investigational drug or treatment works for me, can I continue to receive it when the trial ends?
- Who will be responsible for my care?
Just because your doctor has suggested that you participate in a clinical trial does not mean you need to say yes. If you say no, your medical care and your relationship with your doctor will not be affected.
Clinical trials currently enrolling patients are listed online at clinicaltrials.gov
Write Dr. K at www.AskDoctorK.com or c/o Universal Uclick, 1130 Walnut, Kansas City, MO 64106