Clinical trials are conducted to develop better treatment options for diseases. The researchers investigate if a new treatment is safe and effective. Clinical trials can only be conducted with the help of subjects. These can be patients or healthy volunteers. The collaboration of patients is necessary to investigate the effect of a treatment. A clinical trial is also called: clinical research study, research study, scientific research study, medical research or medical experiment.
Why participate in a clinical trial?
Medical research enables us to apply new and better treatment options. Medical research is required to prove that a new drug is safe and effective, before it can be marketed for sale. Without medical research we are not able to develop better ways to prevent, diagnose or treat cancer. Often medical research can only be conducted if patients are willing to participate. Sometimes participation in a medical research study has no direct benefit for a patient. In this case a study may help future patients. This can also be a reason to participate.
Risks and side effects
The treatments in a research study are new and the side effects are not yet known. One of the objectives of a research study is to investigate the effects of a treatment. Therefore there may be some unknown or unforeseeable risks for a subject participating in a clinical research study. The risks are depending on the treatment type and the condition of the subject. The study physician will check you regularly to see what effect the medication is having on you. In addition the study physician will inform you about potential risks and side effects of the research study in which you are asked to participate. Before you decide to participate you will have to consider the potential risks and benefits of participation.