How do I take Part in a clinical trial?
Who is eligible to participate in a
Each study has its own guidelines for who can participate, called eligibility
criteria. Generally, participants in a study are alike in key way, such as the
type and stage of cancer, age, gender, or previous treatments. The eligibility
criteria are included in the study plan (see The plan for a trial: What is a
protocol?). To find out if you are eligible for a particular study, talk to your
doctor or the doctor or nurse in charge of enrolling patients in the study.
Where are trials conducted?
If you were to participate in a clinical trial, you might receive your treatment
at a large cancer center, a university hospital, or your local medical center or
physician's office. Clinical trials are also conducted at the National Cancer
Institute on the campus of the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda,
Depending on the type of trial and on the approach being studied in it, the
trial may be treating participants at one or two highly specialized centers or
at hundreds of locations at the same time. You would participate in the trial
under the guidance of a team including your physician and other health
professionals, who would report your experience with the treatment back to the
center responsible for the trial's overall coordination. Experts could then use
the information from all the participants to evaluate the treatment being
Who pays for the patient care costs on a clinical trial?
Even if you have health insurance, your coverage may not include some or all of
the costs associated with a clinical trial. This is because some health plans
define clinical trials as "experimental" or
"investigational" procedures. Although most insurance plans and HMO
healthcare plans cover most major prostate cancer trials, be sure to ask your
physician and insurance company about the financial coverage of the clinical
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