- Cancer Information
- Cancer treatment
- Clinical trials and research
- Common questions
- Will I get better care in a clinical trial?
Will I get better care in a clinical trial?
- knowing you have made a valuable contribution to helping others in the future
- joining programs or having medicines or other treatments that are not readily available outside of the study and may be better than the current standard treatment for that disease
- getting access to expensive drugs that your specialists recommend but that are not currently subsidised by the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS)
- seeing your treatment team, including specialists, more often
- taking an active role in your health care
- learning new ways to improve your lifestyle
- improving or maintaining your quality of life
- feeling that you have tried all treatment possibilities.
Your doctor and the clinical trials or research nurse will discuss the possible advantages and disadvantages for you before you join a research study. Taking part in research doesn’t always mean you will be better off than before or compared to other people in a similar situation. Some people may not respond in the way researchers hope and will not benefit from being involved in the research.
In some clinical trials, people are divided into two groups. Only one group receives the experimental treatment, while the other group receives the current standard treatment (see Randomised controlled trials). You won’t get to choose which treatment you have, but either way you will be monitored more frequently and closely than usual.
The Australian Government provides useful information for people who are considering joining a clinical trial.
Podcast: Making Treatment Decisions
Download a PDF booklet on this topic.
A/Prof Brett Hughes, Senior Staff Specialist, Medical Oncology, Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital and The Prince Charles Hospital, and Associate Professor, The University of Queensland, QLD; Christie Allan, Clinical Trials Lead, Cancer Council Victoria, VIC; Dawn Bedwell, 13 11 20 Consultant, Cancer Council Queensland, QLD; Joanne Benhamu, Senior Research Nurse, Team Lead, Lung, Colorectal and Palliative Care Trials, Parkville Cancer Clinical Trials Unit, Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre, VIC; Louise Dillon, Consumer; Sabina Jelinek, Clinical Nurse Research, St John of God Murdoch Hospital, WA; Chloe Jennett, Program Coodinator, Cancer Research, Cancer Council NSW; Carmel McCarthy, Consumer; Alison Richards, Research Unit Manager, Medical Oncology Clinical Trials Unit, Flinders Medical Centre, SA; Prof Jane Ussher, Translational Health Research Institute (THRI), School of Medicine, Western Sydney University, NSW; Prof Janette Vardy, Medical Oncologist, Concord Cancer Centre, and Professor of Cancer Medicine, The University of Sydney, NSW.
View the Cancer Council NSW editorial policy.
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