How will I benefit from participating in a clinical trial?
Your doctor or oncologist may suggest your suitability for a TROG clinical trial. You can, however, find out about clinical trials on your own and take the information to your doctor to discuss. Here's how to use the TROG website to discover a trial you might be eligible for:
- Know where your cancer is located in the body, eg. breast, lung, prostate, etc.
- Visit the Trials now recruiting section of our website, then click on the area of the body that applies to you.
- Our current open trials are listed under each section. As you visit each trial page, you can click on 'Current Participating Centres' to find the closest cancer treatment centre to you that is participating in the study.
- If you would like more information from TROG, please feel free to phone or email the Trial Coordinator listed on the trial page.
Many patients choose to participate in clinical trials for the following main reasons:
- Potential treatment benefits - if there is a clinical trial underway for your disease, there is an opportunity for you to participate in the most current medical treatment and/or technology associated with improving the treatment of your disease, which may result in a better outcome for you as an individual.
- Extra monitoring - as a patient participating in a clinical trial, you will receive additional review and monitoring of your treatment.
Quality assurance - due to the quality assurance required for the scientific credibility of a clinical trial, you will receive additional review and monitoring of your treatment, as well as more extensive follow up than would be required if you were given a standard treatment outside of a clinical trial.
What will be expected of me if I participate in a clinical trial?
Clinical trials run for a certain amount of time and participation could range from a few weeks to a number of years. You would need to be able to attend clinic visits and undertake specific medical tests. You may also be required to complete questionnaires regarding the side effects of your treatment and your general wellbeing.
Making an informed decision
Being treated for cancer can be an overwhelming experience. There is a lot to consider and clinical trials are not for everyone. If you are interested in taking part in a clinical trial or would just like to find out more, speak to your doctor. They will discuss your options and provide you with the information you need to help you make an informed decision. Participating in clinical trials is completely voluntary and you can choose to withdraw at any time.
Patients should be aware that the conduct of a cancer research trial is something that requires the support of many doctors and other experts, hospitals and cancer treatment centres, ethics committees, funding bodies and most importantly, patients. TROG also has additional quality controls. For example, a TROG trial cannot proceed without the endorsement of the TROG Membership and the Scientific Committee, which is assurance that the trial is supported by a consensus of a large representative group of radiation oncologists and has been reviewed in detail by experts on the Scientific Committee.
Ethics and Confidentiality
Another important assurance for patients is that the ethical and legal codes associated with the conduct of cancer research trials in Australia and New Zealand are extremely strict and TROG's approach to these issues is thorough and rigorous. All TROG trials must be reviewed by the ethics committees of the participating hospitals, made up of doctors, scientists, clergy and lay people, who must approve the start and continuation of all cancer resarch trials at their hospital.Confidentiality is of the utmost importance. Trial documents are de-identified and personal details will not be disclosed in any report from the trial.
Contribute to your wellbeing... and somebody else's
Participating in a clinical trial does not guarantee that you will receive any direct benefits; however your participation will help researchers identify the best treatments for future patients. Involvement in a TROG cancer research trial is an assurance that you are involved in something that is well researched and supported, and is at the forefront of expert opinion on how to improve treatment of your particular disease. You are therefore involved in an important process, which may provide a direct benefit for you, as well as future patients with your disease.