How to Find and Enroll in a Cancer Clinical Trial

Participating in a cancer clinical trial can offer patients access to cutting-edge treatments and contribute to advancements in cancer care. The process of finding and enrolling in a clinical trial involves several key steps. Firstly, individuals can start their search for clinical trials by consulting with their doctor to explore suitable options based on their cancer type and stage. Additionally, online resources such as databases provided by institutions like the National Cancer Institute (NCI), TrialCheck®, and can help individuals identify trials that may be suitable for them based on various factors like study location and trial type.

Understanding eligibility criteria is crucial when considering participation in a clinical trial. Each trial has specific guidelines outlining who can participate, such as age, gender, cancer type, and stage. It is essential to review these criteria carefully to determine if a particular trial is a good fit. If needed, individuals can seek clarification from their doctors or contact the study organizers directly for assistance with understanding the requirements. Moreover, contacting the study organizers after identifying a potential trial helps initiate the process of eligibility determination, which may involve appointments and eligibility tests.

Before enrolling in a clinical trial, individuals should thoroughly review the study description, which outlines the protocol detailing the study procedures and safeguards put in place to protect participants’ well-being. It is recommended to discuss the study description with healthcare providers and prepare questions to clarify any uncertainties. Prior to participation, individuals must go through the informed consent process, where the research team explains the trial’s purpose, duration, potential risks and benefits, and confidentiality of medical information. Informed consent is an ongoing process throughout the trial, allowing participants to stay informed about the study’s progress and any identified risks or side effects.

For more information on finding and enrolling in a clinical trial, visit the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center website.