FAQ Clinical Trials
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What is a clinical trial?
The doctors who are involved with a clinical trial follow a "protocol". This is a plan that tells the doctor exactly what to do. This protects the patient as well as answers research questions.
Some clinical trials test one new treatment with one group of patients. Other trials compare two or more treatments. One of the groups may receive standard treatment so the new treatment can be directly compared to it.
In this case, you may be "randomized" to receive either the standard treatment or the new treatment. In order to avoid adding any bias to the study, neither your doctor nor you would be able to choose which treatment you receive. If you are on a new treatment that is not working, your doctor may decide to remove you and review other options.
It is important to note that unless the standard protocol is NO treatment, when you are on a clinical trial, you are always receiving some form of treatment, whether it is the standard treatment or another drug being tested.
There are many ways to learn about clinical trials.
Talk with your doctor. You can also ask for a second opinion about clinical trials to ensure you find out what options are available at all treatment centres.
The Internet. Web sites should tell you about the clinical trial, where it is being conducted and a contact name. Sites for Canadian information include: The Society of Gynecologic Oncology which has trials listed by cancer centre or Cancer View Canada.
Contact the Cancer Centre nearest to you and ask to speak with the staff working on ovarian cancer clinical trials.
Each clinical trial is very specific, enrolling only patients with certain types and stages of cancer. Overall health status is important also.
Therefore if you are thinking about pursuing a clinical trial you should talk with your doctor first. You are never obligated to enter a clinical trial. If it is an option, you may wish to enroll and you may choose to leave at any time. Learn as much as you can about the trial, before you make up your mind.