Tuesday, October 26, 2010


Clinical trials are research studies involving people. A clinical trial is a way to test a new treatment to prove that it is safe, effective, and possibly better than a standard treatment. The clinical trial may be evaluating a new drug, a new combination of existing treatments, a new approach to radiation therapy or surgery, or a new method of cancer prevention.    About Clinical Trials www.cancer.net

A placebo-controlled clinical trial compares a new treatment with a placebo (inactive drug or treatment). Placebo-controlled clinical trials in cancer research are rare, but are used when there is no effective, standard treatment available. Read more about placebos in cancer clinical trials.

I never understood my clinical trial while I was on it.  The information was all there in my informed consent.  Even though the language was respectful and direct, I was unable to process it.

Participants in clinical trials can play a more active role in their own health care, gain access to new research treatments before they are widely available, and help others by contributing to medical research.    Understanding Clinical Trials: clinicaltrials.gov

I'm glad I participated in the trial, even if I don't understand it.


AMY said...

I can't believe how uniformed I am about clinical trials, both in general and mine specifically. I received a certificate in Bioethics in 2002, but paid little attention to the unit on clinical trials. I enrolled in a phase 1b/2 clinical trial in 2009, and didn't understand that some subjects would receive a placebo, even though it was clearly explained in my informed consent, and even though I thought I had understood the answer when I asked my oncologist whether everyone in the study would receive the drug.

I wanted to take anything available while I was at my strongest to fight and I'm glad I took the trial. I don't fault the drug company or my oncologist for my confusion. My trial nurse could have taken more care to make sure I understood what I was consenting to. I think they'll collect my data for about 3 years.

AMY said...

i don't think i'm at all uniformed