Benefits and risks of trials

Here are some questions you might like to ask before you decide whether to take part in a trial. Your cancer doctor or nurse will probably answer most of these when they tell you about the trial. Most of them will also be covered in the written information your doctor gives you about the trial.

General questions

  • What is the aim of the trial and how will it help people?
  • What are the treatment choices in the trial?
  • What are the possible benefits of the trial for me?
  • What are the possible risks?
  • How long is the trial expected to last?
  • If I do not take part in the trial, what treatment will I get?
  • Can I withdraw from the trial at any time? (The answer should always be yes.)
  • What happens if I leave the trial early?
  • How long will it be before we know the results of the trial?

Practical questions

You can ask some practical questions to make sure you understand how the trial may affect your day-to-day life:

  • How much time will it take to have the treatment?
  • Will I need extra tests or appointments?
  • Do I have to take time off work?
  • Will I need extra help from family and friends?
  • Will my transport costs to and from the hospital be paid?
  • Do I have to collect the drug from the hospital?
  • Will it involve filling in a questionnaire or keeping a diary?

Back to Can and should I take part?

Taking part in a trial

Clinical trials are confidential and you won’t be entered into one without giving your consent.