Taking part in a clinical trial

Funding for clinical trials or research into the effectiveness and safety of complementary therapies is limited. Because of the growing popularity of complementary therapies in Australia, the National Institute of Complementary Medicine was established by the federal government to promote research in this area of health care.

Some universities and hospitals are also involved in research and clinical trials. Your hospital or support group may provide opportunities for you to take part in clinical trials and research involving the use of complementary therapies.

Before deciding whether or not to join a clinical trial, discuss these questions with your doctor and a qualified complementary therapies practitioner:

  • What treatments are being tested and why?
  • What tests are involved?
  • Can I take part in the trial while having conventional treatment?
  • What are the possible risks or side effects?
  • What are the possible benefits?
  • How long will the trial last?
  • What will I do if problems occur while I am in the trial?
  • Has an independent ethics committee approved the trial?

If you join a clinical trial for conventional cancer treatment, it is important to check whether using any complementary therapies could impact on the trial results. Speak to your doctor and/or complementary therapist for information.

If you decide to take part in a clinical trial, you can withdraw at any time. For more information, call Cancer Council 13 11 20 or visit australiancancertrials.gov.au.

   − Alan (multiple myeloma)


This information was last reviewed in May 2015
View who reviewed this content
View our editorial policy

Support services

Coping with cancer?
Speak to a health professional or to someone who has been there, or find a support group or forum

Looking for transport, accommodation or home help?
Practical advice and support during and after treatment

Cancer information

What is cancer?
How cancer starts and spreads

Dealing with the diagnosis
Common reactions to a cancer diagnosis and how to find hope

View our publications
Guides and fact sheets for people with cancer, their families and friends

SHARE
TOP BACK TO TOP