Myths of
Clinical Research

Myth: My doctor knows best; he or she can tell me whether or not I should consent to participate in clinical research.

Answer: False. Your doctor is likely to be a valuable source of advice and information, but only you can make a decision. No one–not even medical experts–can predict whether a treatment, screening, prevention, or supportive care method under evaluation in a trial will prove successful. The informed consent process is designed to help you weigh all of the information and make the right choice for you or your child.

Myth: You need to be near a big hospital to take part in clinical research.

Answer: False. Many times cancer clinical research takes place at local hospitals. Some also take place at local cancer clinics and doctor’s offices.

Myth: There are real benefits from participating in clinical research.

Answer: Fact. By participating in clinical research, patients have access to the latest drugs or procedures and are among the first to receive potentially effective new therapies. Studies have shown that trial participants have outcomes that are as good as, if not better than, those who do not participate, even if they get the standard of care and not the treatment that is being tested.

Myth: The informed-consent document outlines all of the possible known risks and side effects of each research study.

Answer: True. By law, each informed consent document must contain information on all the known risks associated with a research study.

Myth: Clinical research patients are treated like guinea pigs.

Answer: False. Ninety-seven percent of Harris survey participants who took part in clinical research studies said that they were treated with respect and received excellent or good quality care. Patients in cancer clinical research studies have outcomes as good as, if not better than, those who do not participate.

Myth: Health insurance will not cover the costs of clinical research.

Answer: False. Many insurers cover the costs of treatment that they cover if you were not in clinical research. Other costs may not be covered. Check with your study coordinator to see if you are covered.

Myth: You can drop out of a clinical research study any time you wish.

Answer: True. You may withdraw from a clinical trial at any time.

Myth: A patient can become the subject of clinical research without knowing they are.

Answer: False. All patients in clinical research studies are volunteers and must sign an informed consent. Even after signing a consent form, patients are free to withdraw from the study at any time they choose.

Myth: Medicare covers the patient care costs of clinical research.

Answer: True. Medicare has been covering these costs since June 2000.

If you have any questions regarding Clinical Research Programs, feel free to call our office to address any concerns you may have at 305.266.1945