If you are currently battling cancer and are struggling with conventional treatments that may not be having as much of an effect on your cancer as you would like, you may find yourself considering the possibility of signing up for a clinical research trial to test a new medication or treatment that may be able to help you improve your condition. However, if you have never been directly involved with the process of applying for and getting into a clinical research trial, then you may not be sure of how the process will go or what you can or should expect from it. Get to know more about what you should expect, and you will be able to better handle the process if you do decide to participate in a cancer treatment clinical trial.
Even If You Want To Be In A Certain Clinical Research Trial, You May Not Qualify
Participating in clinical trials can be incredibly competitive. Because so many people suffer from cancer all over the country and world, there are always many people looking for ways to beat their cancer, especially if the conventional treatments are not particularly effective.
The competition makes it difficult to get spots in a trial because there are more people applying than spaces in the trial. Additionally, because of the specific needs of the clinical research, the selection process is very particular. They are looking not just for someone with a certain type of cancer, but also specific tumor loads, certain genetic sequences in the cancer cells, and even sometimes specific age ranges for the participants involved.
Some of these specifics may be outlined in the clinical trial application, and some may be left until later on in the selection process. Do not be discouraged if you do not qualify for one or even several different clinical trials. There are many clinical research trials going on all the time, and one will likely be the right fit for you.
Clinical Trials Do Not Come With Guarantees
There is no guarantee when it comes to cancer treatment clinical research trials. This means that even if you do get into a clinical trial, you may not get the result that you are hoping for. Clinical trials function in different ways depending on the stage of testing as well as the exact effects that are being studied.
Often clinical trials have a placebo group as well as a group that is being given the new medication or treatment. This means that the baseline or placebo group may be given only standard cancer treatments or no treatment at all. The trials are blind, meaning the patients receiving the new treatments and those who are not will not know which group they are in. In other trials, all participants receive the new medication, and the effectiveness and the side effects are all closely monitored and tracked.
Be sure that you have reasonable expectations when you begin the clinical trial process. Being hopeful going into a clinical trial is the best attitude to have, but you do not want to assume that it will be the cure for your cancer. This will help you to be fully prepared for the process and understand what to expect from the process.
With these tips in mind, you can better prepare yourself for your cancer clinical research trial application and participation experience.