Hi Mark, Whenever someone needs treatment for cancer, clinical trials may be an option. Deciding to join a clinical trial is something only you, those close to you, and your doctors can decide together.
A great resource of information about deciding to take part in a clinical trial is available from the National Cancer Institute (NCI). Go to: http://www.cancer.gov/clinicaltrials/learningabout/deciding-to-take-part
Per the NCI- listed below are some things to consider:
•Clinical trials offer high-quality cancer care. If you are in a study and do not receive the new treatment being tested, you will receive the best standard treatment. This may be as good as or better than the new approach.
•If a new treatment approach is proven to work and you are taking it, you may be among the first to benefit.
•By looking at the pros and cons of clinical trials and your other treatment choices, you are taking an active role in a decision that affects your life.
•You have the chance to help others and improve cancer treatment.
•New treatments under study are not always better than or even as good as standard care. The treatment may have side effects that doctors do not expect or that are worse than those of standard treatment.
•Even if a new treatment has benefits, it may not work for you. Even standard treatments, proven effective for many people, do not help everyone.
•If you receive standard treatment instead of the new treatment being tested, it may not be as effective as the new approach.
•Health insurance and managed care providers do not always cover all patient care costs in a study. What they cover varies by plan and by study. To find out in advance what costs are likely to be paid in your case, talk to a doctor, nurse or social worker from the study.
Another great resource from the NCI is “Questions to Ask Your Doctor about Treatment Clinical Trials”.
Visit: http://www.cancer.gov/clinicaltrials/learningabout/questions-to-ask to learn more.
Hope this information is helpful! Becky RN OCN