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A clinical trial is a type of research study that tests health interventions (for example, a new medication) on people.
Clinical trials help connect individuals with new and emerging treatments for ovarian cancer while ensuring utmost safety and as little risk as possible to participants.
The learnings from clinical trials are extremely valuable for medical advancement by answering important questions, such as: “Does this new medication improve outcomes?”, “Are there side effects and how manageable are they?”, and “Does it help people feel better?” This helps healthcare providers to decide what will work best for different people in order to promote their health and well-being.
Read below to learn more about clinical trials, how to find one that is right for you, and what to expect when participating in a clinical trial.
Clinical trial FAQ: The basics
Learn the basics of clinical trials such as what they are, how they are run, all about placebos, and more.
Clinical trial FAQ: Finding a clinical trial
Discover how to find a clinical trial, get resources to help, and see what to do if you can't find one.
Clinical trial FAQ: Is a clinical trial right for you?
Explore questions you can ask yourself and the clinical trial team when deciding if a clinical trial is right for you.
Clinical trial FAQ: Participating in a clinical trial
Learn about participating in a clinical trial, its success, side effects, and follow up.
Talking to your doctor about: Clinical trials
Need some guidance on discussing clinical trials with your doctor? Here is a reference tool you can use at your next appointment.
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Clinical trial: A clinical trial is a type of research study that tests health-related interventions (such as a new medication) on people.
Clinical trials navigator: Clinical trials navigators are professionals who can help you find a clinical trial, explain the eligibility criteria, and help you decide if joining the clinical trial is right for you.
Control band: A control band is the group of participants in a clinical trial that receives the current standard of care. The other group (the treatment group) receives the new intervention that is being tested, and their outcomes are compared to the control group.
Eligibility criteria: Eligible criteria outline the requirements that must be met for a person to participate in the clinical trial. These criteria might include things like medical conditions, treatment, history, age, sex, and more.
Informed consent: the informed consent process ensures that you are provided with all the information you need to decide if you want to take part. During this process, you should also be given the opportunity to ask questions and discuss with the people in your life.
Phase: Clinical trials are categorised into 4 different phases. In Phase 1, the intervention (for example, a new medication) is being tested on people for the first time. In Phase 2, the intervention is being tested to see if it does what it is intended to do. In Phase 3, the long-term effectiveness of the intervention is tested. In Phase 4, the researchers monitor the intervention after it has been made available on the market and any long-term side effects are measured.
Placebo: Placebos are inactive therapies that look like active therapies (sometimes referred to as “sugar pills”). Placebos are very rarely used in clinical trials for cancer, because the new intervention is instead being compared to the current standard of care.
Protocol: Clinical trial protocols contain extensive information about the clinical trial. For example, the protocol will explain why the trial is being conducted, how it will be done, how the data will be collected and analysed, how the results of the trial will be shared, and who is involved.
Randomization: Randomisation is a process used to compare two or more health-interventions. In randomised trials, participants are randomly assigned (by chance) to receive one of the health-interventions (for example, the new treatment being tested, or the current standard of care).
Research Ethics Board: All research conducted on humans must be reviewed by an independent committee (a research ethics board) to ensure that the safety of the participants is protected and that the methods used in the research study are ethical.
Treatment group: A treatment group is the group of participants in a clinical trial that receives the new intervention being tested (for example, a new medication). The other group (the control group) receives the current standard of care. The outcomes of the treatment group are then compared to the outcomes of the control group.
American Society of Clinical Oncology. (2022). Patient safety in clinical trials. Retrieved: https://www.cancer.net/research-and-advocacy/clinical-trials/patient-safety-clinical-trials
Clinical Trials Ontario. (2022). Learn more about clinical trials. Retrieved: https://www.ctontario.ca/patients-public/learn-more-about-clinical-trials/
Government of Canada. (2020). Clinical trials and drug safety. Retrieved: https://www.canada.ca/en/health-canada/services/clinical-trials.html
Government of Canada. (2022). Guidance Document: Part C, Division 5 of the Food and Drug Regulations “Drugs for Clinical Trials Involving Human Subjects”. Retrieved: https://www.canada.ca/en/health-canada/services/drugs-health-products/compliance-enforcement/good-clinical-practices/guidance-documents/guidance-drugs-clinical-trials-human-subjects-gui-0100.html