A clinical trial is a research project that looks at how well a new treatment or medical procedure works in people. Clinical trials answer two major questions:
- Does the new treatment or procedure work in people?
- Is the new treatment safe for people to use?
Researchers conduct clinical trials in different settings. Many clinical trials are done at cancer centers because the facilities available are usually the most advanced, but community hospitals and doctors' offices also can be part of a clinical trial.
Each clinical trial has its own benefits and risks, depending on the type of trial and what it's trying to figure out. One potential benefit is treatment that may be free or low cost. Some clinical trials may pay for part or all of your treatment, other medical care, travel to and from the treatment center, and other expenses during the study. But not all clinical trials do this. Make sure you know exactly what you'll have to pay BEFORE you agree to be part of a clinical trial.
For more information on clinical trials, including a detailed list of benefits and risks and how to find clinical trials, visit the Breastcancer.org Clinical Trials section.