What are clinical trials?
Cancer clinical trials are research studies in which people volunteer to test new ways to prevent, diagnose, treat or manage cancer. Participation in a clinical trial may be recommended by a specialist, or some people ask their doctors about studies that might be suitable. Your treatment team can help you find out more.
Learn more about clinical trials and research
Questions to ask about this service
When looking at a service it is important to ask questions about how the service works before you decide to engage with them. Below is a list of questions you might like to ask when enquiring about a service.
Am I eligible?
Do I need a referral?
How much will this cost me?
Is there a wait time?
Will I be treated as an inpatient or an outpatient?
Who works on cancer clinical trials?
A team of people work on research studies, and some of their roles may overlap. If you decide to join a clinical trial or other research study, you may have contact with all or some of these people:
- Investigator – also known as a researcher, an investigator develops and plans research studies, and obtains, analyses and publishes the results.
- Nurse or research assistant – coordinates finding people for the trial (recruitment) by talking to potential participants, making sure they are eligible and explaining the purpose of the trial, and acts as a link between the patient and the researchers or the health care team.
- Study coordinator – ensures the trial meets ethical and legal requirements and applies for grants and manages budgets.
- Cancer specialist – may be a medical oncologist, surgeon, radiation oncologist or haematologist. A cancer specialist supervises your treatment, follow-up and overall care.
- Other professionals – including a pharmacist, allied health practitioners and complementary therapists.
In most cases, your cancer specialist will continue to look after your overall cancer care while you are on a clinical trial or other research study.
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