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Questions to ask about clinical trials

The following are questions that you can ask the healthcare team about clinical trials (research studies). Choose the questions that fit your, or your child’s, situation and add questions of your own. You may find it helpful to take the list to the next appointment and to write down the answers.

  • What is a clinical trial?
  • Are there clinical trials available for this type of cancer?
  • Am I, or is my child, eligible to participate in a clinical trial?
  • What is the purpose of the study?
  • Has this type of treatment ever been tested before?
  • What does the study involve?
  • How long will the study last?
  • What are the benefits and risks of participating?
  • What kinds of medical tests, procedures or treatments are done during the study?
  • How often and for how long is the study treatment given?
  • What are the possible side effects of the study treatment or approach? How do these compare with standard treatment or approaches?
  • When will we know if the treatment is working?
  • If the treatment is not working, is the trial stopped?
  • Are there any activities or other treatments that cannot be done during this study?
  • What type of care will be given?
  • Will the study require extra time, work or expenses?
  • Can the trial be done here or is travel to another centre needed? Are travel costs and expenses covered?
  • Can people in the clinical trial meet and talk with one another?
  • Are there any consequences of dropping out of the study?
  • What happens after the study is over? Will the results be shared?
  • Will there be any follow-up after the study? For how long?


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