IS A TRIAL RIGHT FOR ME?
Not every trial is suitable for your needs. There are specific advantages and disadvantages for each phase.
For example, in a Phase I trial, you are likely to be one of the first to be using the particular therapy. While being a pioneer may be unsettling, it may be an excellent opportunity to benefit from the next, yet undiscovered, treatment. Remember, CML, which eventually became the “miracle drug” was once an unproven therapy, undergoing a Phase I trial.
Phase II trials may feature more information about toxicity. They also have no control groups, which enables you to make the decision of receiving the treatment, rather than relegating the choice to a randomizing computer.
“…Most patients are happy to have the opportunity…”
Phase III trials include much more extensive information on response and toxicity, and greater nationwide access. You may be randomized to a contol group, and slated to receive the best current care, rather the treatment being investigated, thus depriving you of the choice.
Whatever phase trial turns out to be appropriate to your case, it is an excellent opportunity to benefit from the best that medical science has to offer.
One of the main advantages of being in a clinical trial is that whether you are assigned to the treatment or the control group, you will still enjoy a higher standard of care, because trial protocols usually call for more frequent tests, more frequent visits to the hospital, and more thorough examinations.
There are few, if any, downsides. Your participation is completely optional and voluntary. You can leave the trial at any time. If you drop out, you will not be penalized in any way. And you will still be entitled to the best standard treatment available. If you stay, you will benefit from the best that medical science has to offer us today.