Why Clinical Trials Are Important

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Dana Rathkopf, a medical oncologist at Memorial Sloan Kettering who specializes in caring for men with prostate cancer, addresses common questions and misconceptions about participating in clinical trials. Because of their potential to improve the standard of cancer care across the entire spectrum of the disease, she emphasizes that clinical trials aren’t just for people with an advanced stage of cancer.

People who are considering a clinical trial, she says, should carefully read the informed consent document, which discloses important details about the study. She also addresses questions about the potential benefits and risks to the participant, the duration and organization of trials, and any costs that are or are not covered by the trial.