No doubt you have heard about clinical trials over the years. They help researchers and drug companies determine if a new treatment, therapy, or drug is more beneficial than the current one. Recently, clinical trials for cancers and other diseases have shown promise, although only one in 10 trials are successful. There are pros and cons to joining a clinical trial, so here’s how to determine if it may be right for you.
Advantages of Joining a Clinical Trial
There are multiple advantages to entering a clinical trial. We will focus on the main ones.
Access to New Therapies
There are many new cancer therapies being investigated right now, many of which are new innovations compared to even five years ago. You will have the opportunity to try them.
You Will Get Closely Monitored Care
When in a clinical trial, you will be more closely watched by your caregivers. There will be a certain number of required visits with doctors as well as imaging tests. The good news is you know you are being monitored by specialists and are aware of both the progress and response of the treatments.
An Opportunity to Help Others
Participating in a clinical trial may help others with the same disease to be given life-saving therapy. At the same time, you may be helped yourself.
It May Be Less Expensive
Many times some or all of the expenses are covered by the research team.
Some Risks or Disadvantages of Joining a Clinical Trial
There is always the possibility that the treatment you receive may have unpleasant side effects.
Usually the research team will advise you of any unexpected side effects, but there is always a chance the treatment could be detrimental. However, once a drug or treatment reaches phase 3 trials, there is less risk of a harmful side effect.
Of course, the treatment may not make you feel better.
In addition you will be having more appointments, spending more time, and getting more tests than usual. All this can be time consuming and in some cases, can make a patient more anxious.
You may only be getting the standard treatment (the placebo), but it is not less effective.
Only you can decide if the benefits outweigh the risks or negatives. Most people who have participated in clinical trials felt it was worthwhile.
Contact New Jersey Cancer Care if you wish to participate in a clinical trial at our cancer treatment centers in Belleville, Montclair, or Roselle if you have additional questions or concerns.