Clinical trials are research studies that evaluate the safety and effectiveness of new treatment approaches for a disease. If you are being treated for stomach cancer, you may be offered the opportunity to take part in a clinical trial at some point during your treatment.
In some cases, a study may give you access to new therapies that are not yet readily available. Clinical trials may also be used to compare diagnostic tests, prevention strategies, or other aspects of your care.
If you are asked to participate in a clinical trial, your doctor or nurse will explain exactly what is involved and any possible benefits or drawbacks posed by the trial. They will explain to you that that unexpected side effects may occur if you enroll in a clinical trial. You will need to sign an informed consent agreement in order to participate in the trial. Before agreeing to participate, make sure you know what the costs will be and how much your insurance will cover.
You are not required to participate in clinical trials. If you decline, this will not jeopardize your relationship with your physician. You may leave a trial for any reason and at any time, even after signing the agreement.