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Questions to Ask Your Doctor about Clinical Trials

Use these questions as a starting point when talking to your doctor about participating in a clinical trial.

Design of the Clinical Trial

  • What is the purpose of this clinical trial?
  • What phase is this clinical trial and what does that mean?
  • Why do researchers believe this new treatment might be effective?
  • Has this treatment been tested before?
  • Have there been other trials similar to this one? If yes, what were the results?
  • What kinds of patients will be in the clinical trial?
  • How many patients are needed for the clinical trial?
  • How long will the trial take?  
  • Will I find out about the results of the clinical trial?

Eligibility Requirements

  • Why is this clinical trial a good fit for me?
  • What are my treatment options if I don’t join this trial?
  • Are there other clinical trials that might help me?

Potential Benefits and Risks

  • How could this clinical trial help me if I join?
  • What are the possible risks?
  • How will I know if the treatment is working?

Practical Concerns

  • What will I have to do if I join?
  • Will I have to stay in the hospital?
  • Will I have to come to the hospital for treatments and tests? How often?
  • Will I have to change my daily activities or my diet?
  • Who will be in charge of my care?
  • What type of long-term follow-up care is part of this study?
  • Who will pay for treatment?
  • If I have questions about the trial, whom can I contact?