Participating in a clinical trial

What to expect when participating in a clinical trial at Icon Cancer Centre

Did you know that Icon offers the largest private cancer clinical trials program in Australia?

If you or someone you care for has been diagnosed with cancer, you may be interested in learning about participating in clinical trials with Icon Cancer Centre.

We offer clinical trials and research programs across chemotherapy, radiation therapy and blood disorders for the benefit of patients now and in the future.

How do I join a trial?

Please speak with your doctor for information about any clinical trials that may be appropriate for you and your cancer.

You can also use our Find a trial search to enquire about a specific clinical trial/s that may be suitable for you.

Participating in clinical trials

People participate in clinical trials for many reasons. Whether or not you choose to participate will depend on you and your personal situation.

It is important to us that you and your loved ones are kept informed and supported throughout the trial process. Our friendly, experienced team will support you every step of the way during your clinical trial and throughout your cancer diagnosis.

It is also important to discuss the potential benefits and risks associated with participating in clinical trials with your doctor.

Potential risks:

  • Clinical trials, or the new medications and treatments, may not be suitable or effective for you or your cancer
  • Some interventions may have serious potential side effects
  • You may be required to complete or conduct additional tests, hospital visits or other medication requirements
  • Depending on the phase of the trial, there may be unanticipated risks

Potential benefits:

  • Gaining access to medications and treatment that may not yet be available to the wider public
  • Advancing healthcare for the benefit of the wider community
  • Opportunity to play a more active role in your healthcare and learn more about your condition and its management
  • Access to medical care and support from a highly skilled team of medical professionals
  • Close monitoring of your condition and its treatment

Before you participate in a clinical trial, you will need to provide informed content. If you decide to participate in a clinical trial and pass the initial screening phase, your doctor will ask you to sign an informed consent form.

Informed consent means that you have received information about the clinical trial, understand any potential risks and benefits and agree to participate in the trial.

If there are parts of the form you do not understand, please feel free to ask your doctor to explain these to you in detail. You will be given a copy of the signed form to keep. Your doctor will then register your participation in the trial.

What to expect from participating in a clinical trial

Once you have completed the informed consent process, and your doctor registers your participation in the clinical trial, you will then begin the trial process.

If you are taking part in a Phase III trial, you will either receive a new treatment that has already shown promise in treating your condition or the current standard treatment. You may be randomly assigned to one treatment or another.

The trial is considered a ‘double-blind study’ if neither you nor your doctor knows which of the treatments you are receiving. All of these options are outlined in your informed consent document.

Throughout your treatment you will be carefully monitored by those involved in running the trial including your clinical care team. If the treatment you receive does not work to treat your condition or if something unexpected happens, such as a severe side affect as a result of the treatment – the treatment will be stopped and your care team will support you with next steps.

How much does it cost?How much does it cost?

Different trials may cover expenses relating to participating in clinical trials, however it’s best to discuss this with your doctor or research team as this is not always guaranteed and each trial and patient is different.

Questions to ask include:

  • Do I have to pay for any part of the study? Will my insurance cover these costs?
  • Is there any reimbursement for travel costs or childcare?
  • Are there costs involved with the treatment or will these be covered?

Questions to ask your doctor

If you are considering participating in a clinical trial, it’s important you have adequate information about the trial and your participation.

You can ask your doctor as many questions as you like in order to collect as much information as possible to make an informed decision.

You may wish to bring someone along to your consultations for support or help in asking questions and remembering answers.

If you receive written information about the trial from somewhere other than your doctor, you may like to take it along to your doctor to review and answer any questions you may have about it.

To view questions you might like to consider asking your care team, click here.
  • What is the treatment being studied?
  • Why is this trial being done?
  • Does the study involve a placebo or a treatment that is already on the market?
  • How has the trial been planned?
  • Who is involved in running the trial?
  • What has been learned about the study treatment and are any study results published?
  • Will I be able to see my own doctor and can I share the data from the trial with my doctor?
  • If the treatment works for me, can I keep using it after the study?
  • Can anyone find out whether I’m participating in the clinical trial?
  • Where will my treatment be received?
  • What is required of me to receive treatment (e.g. frequency of attendances at treatment sites, length of treatment and follow-up)?
  • What is known about the possible risks, side effects and benefits of the new treatment being studied?
  • How do the risks/benefits of the new treatment compare with standard treatment?
  • Will the treatment I receive affect the current medications I’m on?
  • What is required of me when the treatment finishes (i.e. follow-up)?
  • How will I find out the results of the trial?
  • Who do I contact if I have concerns or questions during the trial?
  • Can I talk to other patients involved in the trial?
  • Why do you think this trial is suitable for me?
  • What treatment will I receive if I do not participate in the trial?

Contact us

You can contact our research team at any point to find out more information on participating in a clinical trial. They are here to answer any questions you may have and provide information about eligibility for clinical trials and possible involvement.  Please contact our friendly team by emailing research@icon.team

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