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Published on July 12, 2017

cancer patient talking with doctor

How to prepare for a clinical research study

At any given time, patients at Gundersen Health System have access to more than 100 clinical research studies for all types of cancer.

Clinical studies are important because not all treatment options cure all cancers. Therefore, enrolling in a clinical study can further cancer research while also helping treat your cancer.

Gundersen partners with the National Cancer Institute and academic cancer centers to offer clinical trials, ensuring that every study is conducted safely and meets our strict guidelines.

If you are thinking about taking part in a clinical trial, be sure to ask your doctor, "Is there a clinical trial that I can join?" If your doctor offers you a trial, here are some questions you may want to ask.

Questions about the trial

  • What is the purpose of the trial?
  • Why do the researchers believe that the treatment being studied may be better than the one being used now? Why may it not be better?
  • How long will I be in the trial?
  • What kinds of tests and treatments are involved?
  • How will the doctor know if the treatment is working?
  • How will I be told about the trial's results?
  • How long do I have to make up my mind about joining this trial?
  • Who can I speak with about questions I have during and after the trial?
  • Who will be in charge of my care?
  • Is there someone I can talk to who has been in the trial?

Questions about risks and benefits

  • What are the possible side effects or risks of the new treatment?
  • What are the possible benefits?
  • How do the possible risks and benefits of this trial compare to those of the standard treatment?

Questions about your rights

  • How will my health information be kept private?
  • What happens if I decide to leave the trial?

Questions about costs

  • Will I have to pay for any of the treatments or tests?
  • What costs will my health insurance cover?
  • Who pays if I'm injured in the trial?
  • Who can help answer any questions from my insurance company?

Questions about comparing choices

  • What are my other treatment choices, including standard treatments?
  • How does the treatment I would receive in this trial compare with the other treatment choices?
  • What will happen to my cancer without treatment?

See a complete list of clinical trials currently available at Gundersen.

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