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How to Choose The Right Clinical Trial For You

March 3, 2023
How to Choose The Right Clinical Trial For You
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While a patient's physician can refer them to a clinical trial, given the huge and ever-growing number of clinical trials available, it takes a lot of work for even the best doctors to stay updated on all the possible treatment options. Often, they will be unaware of trials being run outside their institution.
Although patients and their loved ones can look for options on their own, the process can be very time consuming and confusing—the last thing patients need when dealing with a health problem. In this blog, you'll find everything you need to know about the process of finding clinical trials you can enroll in.

How to Choose a Clinical Trial

Here is a step-by-step process on how to choose the perfect clinical trial, from starting your search to enrolling in the right one for you:

Gather Details About Your Condition

If you are looking for a clinical trial, you will need to know certain details about your diagnosis and compare these details with the eligibility criteria of any study that may interest you. Eligibility criteria are the requirements you must meet for you to join a clinical trial.

Some examples include:

  • having a certain type or stage of illness
  • having received (or not having received) a certain type of medical treatment
  • having specific genetic changes in the body
  • being in a certain age group
  • medical history
  • current health condition

To help you gather details about your illness, complete as much of the checklist as possible. Refer to the checklist during your search for clinical trials.

If you need help filling out the form, talk with your doctor, nurse, or social worker at your doctor's office. The more information you gather, the easier it will be to find clinical trials to fit you!

Find Clinical Trials

Many clinical studies are taking place in the United States. Some clinical trials are sponsored by nonprofit organizations, including the U.S. government. Other clinical studies are funded by for-profit groups, such as pharmaceutical companies. Hospitals and academic medical centers also fund trials conducted by their researchers. Since there are many types of sponsors, no single list contains every clinical trial.

Helpful tip: Whichever platform you use to search for clinical studies, bookmark or print a copy of the study protocol summary for every study that you find interesting.

A protocol summary should explain the goal of the study in detail and describe which treatments will be tested. It should also list the sites where the study is done.

Remember that protocol summaries are written for health care providers and use medical language to describe the study that may be difficult to understand. To understand more about the protocol summary, call, email, or chat with one of our information specialists.

How to choose a clinical trial

Choose Which Clinical Trial You Want to Enroll in

There are important conversations to prepare for when joining a clinical trial. If you end up being eligible for more than one study and may want to participate in one, the next step is to choose which study you want to enroll in.

After discussing with the study team, you may want to discuss with your family members, primary care physician, and an additional source for a second opinion before choosing which one to enroll in. In almost all cases, you can't be enrolled in more than one study at the same time.

Several factors go into finding the right study for you, and the details can sometimes be overwhelming. You should never feel compelled to decide until you have learned everything you can about your condition, prognosis, and each treatment option available.

Tip: Getting a well-rounded perspective from several sources on the potential trials can help you feel confident about your choice.

Think About Time, Costs, Logistics, and Payments

Consider the location you need to travel to, the reimbursement and payments, and the study duration to gauge how participating in the study will affect your life.

The number and time needed for each visit will greatly influence the amount of effort and other expenses of each trial. Depending on how far you have to travel, consider the cost of housing and the potential for lost income because of the time spent away from work.

Contact the Team Running the Clinical Trial

There are a few ways to contact the clinical research team.

Contact the trial team directly. The study protocol summary should include the contact number of a person or office you can contact for more information. You don't need to talk to the lead researcher at this time, even if their name is given along with the telephone number. Instead, call the number and ask to speak with the trial coordinator. The trial coordinator can answer questions from patients and their doctors. The trial coordinator also must decide whether you are likely to be eligible to join the trial. However, a final decision will probably only be made once you have met with a doctor who is part of the study team.

Ask your doctor or another healthcare team member to contact the trial team for you. The trial coordinator will ask questions about your diagnosis and your current overall health that you may not be sure how to answer. So, you may want to ask your physician or someone else on your healthcare team to contact the trial coordinator for you.

The trial team may contact you. If you have registered on the website of a clinical study listing and found a trial that you find interesting, the clinical study team may contact you by using the phone number and email address you provided during registration.

Ask Enough Questions About the Clinical Trial

Whether you or someone from your healthcare team speaks with the clinical trial team, this is the time to get answers to questions that will help you in the decision-making process regarding whether or not to participate in clinical trials.

General information

  1. What’s the goal of this study?
  2. Why do researchers believe the new treatment or new drug being tested might be effective? Have there been other studies on it?
  3. Is there a possibility I will receive treatment other than the one being studied? If I am in the placebo group, will I be given the test treatment at the end of the trial?
  4. Where will I have to travel to for the study?
  5. How many visits are there? What will I be required to do at each visit?
  6. How long will the study last? Will overnight stays be required? If so, how often?
  7. Who will oversee my medical care while I participate in the trial?
  8. Will the results of the study be provided to me?

Financial questions

  1. Who will pay for the care required during the trial? Can someone on the clinical study team help me speak with my insurance company?
  2. If I don’t have insurance, can I still participate? Are there any other potential costs with participating, even if I have insurance?
  3. Do I get any form of compensation for participation?
  4. If so, how often will I be paid? What is the method of payment?
  5. Are any types of reimbursements offered (travel costs, lodging, food, etc.)?

Treatment logistics

  1. Can I take my regular medications while I am in the clinical study?
  2. Can I access the treatment after the study finishes? How?

Make An Appointment

If you decide to join a study for which you are eligible, schedule a visit with the research team running the trial.

Enroll in our open clinical trials and join us in helping future patients at Santos Research Center, Corp. now!

At Santos Research Center, Corp., we have completed over 400 clinical trials. We make use of efficient and reliable systems to plan and manage quality medical research studies.

If you are interested in participating in clinical trials, call us at (813) 249-9100.

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Santos Research Center, Corp. is a research facility conducting paid clinical trials, in partnership with major pharmaceutical companies & CROs. We work with patients from across the Tampa Bay area.

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