I am glad that you are considering to join clinical trial now.
Step 1: Potential Clinical Trial Candidate
If your oncologist think that you’re suitable for certain clinical trials, you’ll be invited to participate. However, it is also good for you to ask your oncologist if there is any clinical trial that’s suitable for you to participate.
At some centre, there have many clinical trials going on at the same time and different clinical trials are headed by different oncologists. There are also certain instances where different clinical trials are conducted at different centre. In order not to miss any chances to participate in clinical trial, you need to approach and ask your oncologist.
Until there is a centralised place to search for all information regarding clinical trials, you’ll need to ask your oncologist.
When your oncologist think that there is a suitable clinical trials that you can participate, he will pass some documents for you to read. The documents are called patient information sheets (PIS), which contained all relevant information regarding the clinical trials. You can read more about PIS here.
Step 2: Securing Your Consent
Once you have adequate time to read the PIS and agree to participate in clinical trial, you will need to sign the informed consent form. You can read more about informed consent here.
Step 3: Fulfilling Eligibility Criteria
You will undergo final screening to see if you are eligible to join the clinical trial.
Suitable candidate for clinical trial? Meaning that you fulfil ALL the INCLUSION criteria and NONE of the EXCLUSION criteria of that particular clinical trial.
Are you a suitable candidate for the clinical trial? Actually, it’s not easy to pass the screening stage before being allowed to join clinical trial. There are a lot of strict conditions that must be fulfilled (see example below). Certain clinical trials have screen failure of more than 70-80%. So, if you pass screening, consider yourself fortunate and please do not waste the opportunity.
You’re in the clinical trial. I wish you all the best.
What motivate me to write about this three parts on clinical trial is actually a movie that I came across a year ago, Living Proof (2008), about development of Herceptin for breast cancer.
I really hope you’ll spend an hour to watch this movie.
You’ll realise the importance of research and clinical trials to develop a new treatment.
Many patients benefit during clinical trials when they get to try out the latest treatments which are not available yet
Many more patients will benefit after success of a clinical trial when a treatment is finally approved by regulatory authorities.