Participating in clinical research can make a life-saving difference in the lives of other people with similar conditions. Patients who volunteer for clinical trials may also personally benefit in other ways, as these patients may have access to new approaches to manage disease.
For example, some trials involve extra tests and scans, so participation may provide patients with additional information about their illness or disease behavior. Data from the trial can help doctors determine if and how treatments are working. And, because clinical trials study how well new medicines and other types of treatments or management processes work, patients who participate typically get at least the best-known standard treatment.
Is research confidential?
The same ethical and legal codes that apply to medical practice also apply to research. Clinical research is federally regulated, and this protects all volunteers and their personal information. All personal and medical information remain confidential—only seen by those authorized to do so.
What are the risks of participating in a clinical trial?
Before participating in a clinical trial, a study team member will review all information about the trial including specific risks and potential benefits. Through this informed-consent process, clinical trial participants receive the information they need to decide if they wish to take part.
Can a participant leave a clinical study?
Yes. Clinical trial participants who agree to take part in a research study may choose to leave at any point in time. If withdrawing from a study, the participant should contact the research team to inform them and provide the reasons for leaving the study. The participant many be asked to return for a safety evaluation before withdrawing from the study.