What is a Clinical Trial?
Clinical trials are research studies people volunteer to take part in. Clinical trials test new ways to prevent, diagnose, treat or manage cancer.
Why would I want to participate in a clinical trial?
Clinical trials may be an option for people at different places in their cancer journey. By taking part in a clinical trial, you may have access to cancer treatments that are not yet available to other Canadians, including surgery, radiation, drug treatments or a combination of different treatments. Clinical trials also test better ways to manage symptoms caused by cancer. Although there is no promise that you will benefit from taking part in a clinical trial, the information gained from the clinical trial may help other patients in the future.
The information gained from a clinical trial may help decide if a new treatment is safe and effective. The standard cancer treatments used today were made and tested in clinical trials years ago.
What Should I Expect?
Taking part in a clinical trial is voluntary. This means you cannot be forced or told to take part or continue to take part in a clinical trial. You can choose not to take part or you can leave the clinical trial at any time without any penalty. Your doctor will discuss further treatments with you and go on treating your cancer with the best means available.
Before you volunteer for a clinical trial, you must be told about all the facts of the clinical trial. This process is called informed consent. You will be told about: the treatments, visits and tests required, potential benefits, risks or side effects, how your personal information will be kept confidential, and who to contact if you have questions. The informed consent must have all the information required by federal regulations and the research ethics board. At all times while you take part in the clinical trial, your rights, safety and wellbeing must be protected.
You will have time to review the consent form, ask questions and decide if you would like to take part in the clinical trial. Once you have agreed to take part, a copy of the signed and dated consent form will be given to you. Then, steps will be taken to make sure you meet all the requirements to take part in the clinical trial.
What clinical trials are available with the Cancer Program at Kingston General Hospital?
If you are interested in taking part in a clinical trial talk to a member of your healthcare team, like your nurse or oncologist.
Clinical trials are constantly opening and closing. The Cancer Program at Kingston General Hospital is a member of many academic based research groups and takes part in all phases of clinical trials, including phase I, II, III and prevention trials.
You may contact Oncology Clinical Trials at (613) 549-6666 x 6641 or visit: http://www.canadiancancertrials.ca/
For more information about clinical trials visit the Canadian Cancer Society website: www.cancer.ca -> About Cancer -> Treatment -> Clinical trials
Clinical trials must follow rules set by Health Canada, the research ethics board (REB) and the hospital where the research is taking place. The Cancer Program at Kingston General Hospital has two REBs that are used to get approval to conduct a clinical trial. The local REB is the Queen’s University Health Sciences & Affiliated Teaching Hospitals Research Ethics Board. The provincial REB is the Ontario Cancer Research Ethics Board (OCREB).
If you have any questions about your rights as a research subject please feel free to contact Dr. Albert Clark, Chair of the Queen’s University Health Sciences & Affiliated Teaching Hospitals REB at (613) 533-6081.