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Understanding Clinical Trials

If current treatments aren't working...what's next?

New treatment options available through clinical trials at Deaconess offer hope for many patients.

Clinical trials help uncover better ways to treat, prevent, and understand diseases. Treatments studied in clinical trials might be new drugs or new combinations of drugs, new medical devices, or new ways to use existing treatments. The following are answers to some common questions about participating in a clinical trial.

Why should I consider participating in a clinical trial?
  • Current treatment options are not working for you
  • Unable to tolerate side effects from your current treatment options
  • Receive the newest treatments
  • Receive additional care and attention from the clinical trial physician and staff
  • To help the advancement of medical knowledge and make a difference in the care for future patients
What are the different types of clinical trials available to me?
  • Treatment trials - test new investigational treatments, new combination of drugs, new medical indications for currently marketed drugs, or new approaches to surgery or radiation.
  • Quality of life trials (or Supportive Care trials) - explore ways to improve comfort and the quality of life for individuals with chronic illness. 
  • Diagnostic trials - are conducted to find better tests or procedures for identifying a particular disease or condition.
  • Prevention trials - look for better ways to prevent disease in people who have never had the disease or to prevent a disease from returning.
What are the benefits of participating in a Clinical Trial?
  • Opportunity to receive the newest treatment options in development for your medical condition.
  • Helping your doctor uncover better ways to treat, prevent, diagnose and understand diseases and medical conditions.
  • Receiving study-related care (i.e. physical exams, lab work, medications, and more) at no cost to you.
  • Compensation for your time and travel may be available.
Are clinical trials safe?
Your care while in a clinical trial will be overseen by specially-trained doctors, nurses and other healthcare professionals. The government requires the clinical trial team to give potential participants complete and accurate information about what will take place during a trial. Before joining a particular trial, you will be given an informed consent document that describes your rights as a participant, as well as details about the trial. The informed consent is part of the process that makes sure you understand any known risks associated with the trial and you may leave the trial at any time. 

Will my personal information remain confidential?
Confidentiality is an important part of clinical research and ensures that personal information is seen only by those authorized to have access. It also means that the personal identity and all the medical information of clinical trial participants is known only to the individual patient and researchers. Results from a study will usually be presented only in terms of trends or overall findings and will not mention specific participants.

How do I know if a clinical trial is right for me?
Clinical trials can offer many advantages to people. Talk with your doctor or their research nurse and learn as much as you can. Make sure you understand what treatment is being studied and how it differs from the standard treatments available for your condition. Ask about the benefits and possible side effects associated with the treatment that is being studied. This information will help you make an informed decision about whether a specific clinical trial is right for you.

How do I find a Clinical Trial?
  • Ask your Deaconess doctor. They are most familiar with your current medical condition and the treatment options available.
  • View the list of currently enrolling and upcoming studies (link to page) conducted at Deaconess
  • Receive alerts of new treatment options in development and available through clinical trials when you sign up for our Clinical Trial Notifications

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