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The following frequently asked questions provide detailed information about clinical trials. In addition, it is often helpful to talk to a physician, family members, or friends about deciding to join a trial.


Doctor and patient


There are a few trials you may be interested in, but there are still some questions you may need answered.

After identifying some trial options, the next step is to contact the study research staff and ask questions about specific trials.


A clinical trial is a research study conducted in people to evaluate a new investigational medical drug or device. The purpose of clinical trials is to find new and improved methods of treating different diseases in the future.

A clinical investigator is a medical researcher conducting a research study. Researchers are usually doctors, nurses, pharmacists, or other medical professionals.

Clinical research studies are typically conducted by a trained medical professional. An Institutional Review Board, or IRB, reviews all clinical studies. This is a committee made up of doctors, ethicists, and members of the general public and administrators. This group helps to ensure that the rights of research participants are protected. Your regular doctor is responsible for your well-being and you may want to speak with your doctor before agreeing to participate in a study as there are risks associated with taking any drug or using any investigational medical device. Whenever you agree to enter a study, you are given the name and telephone number of a contact in your study physician's office who will answer your questions as well as a contact for the IRB whom you can contact if you have questions or concerns.

There are many reasons people take part in research studies. It gives individuals a chance to receive investigational study drugs or medical devices not available to the public. Studies are performed to test if the investigational study drug or device works, and if it is safe.

Often, the process of collecting information in the study will allow the study doctor to find out more about the disease and its effects.

Lastly, a study may not benefit participants directly, but the information gathered may be of help to other individuals in the future with the same condition. Many study participants derive satisfaction knowing they may be a part of the effort to potentially reduce the suffering of other people in the future.

Each study has certain requirements for participation. Your study doctor will take a medical history from you and may request additional testing to determine if you are eligible according to the criteria for the study.


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