Clinical trials are extremely important scientific studies, needed and required by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to assess new medical treatments, including treatments for prostate cancer. Participating in a clinical trial can offer benefits to people with the disease. Read more about the possible pros and cons of clinical trial participation here.
Access to New Treatments
There are several reasons you may want to participate in a clinical trial. One is to gain access to a treatment that is not otherwise available. The treatment may be better than those already approved for the condition. Treatments can include new medications, medication combinations, stem cell treatments, or surgeries. New biological approaches, such as reducing cancer cell growth or preventing tumors from spreading, are under study for prostate cancer. Treatments also may focus on improving a patient's general care and quality of life. Before participating in a trial, you need to understand the study, what it requires and what it entails. The study will be thoroughly explained in its “Informed Consent” document and by the researchers conducting it.
Access to Expert Medical Care
By participating in a clinical trial, you can expect to gain access to medical experts in the field at a leading healthcare facility, in addition to access to the treatment provided.
Free Treatment or Reduced Costs
Treatments in clinical trials are typically free to participants, or the trial may be associated with reduced costs. Sometimes continued treatment is free even after the trial ends, or in a study extension phase. The costs or reduction of costs are described in the “Informed Consent” document, and should be a topic to discuss with the study's organizers