A doctor or nurse from your cancer team can explain the possible benefits or risks of joining a trial. They should tell you any other treatments that may be right for your situation.
Before you join a trial, the research team will ask for your permission. They cannot enter you into the trial or do any necessary tests until you give them permission (consent) in writing.
To help you decide, researchers should tell you:
- what the trial is trying to find out
- what the trial will involve
- what you will have to do.
There are guidelines for researchers about the information people need to help them decide about taking part in a trial. But how much information people want to know may be different from person to person. It is important that you have as much information as you need to make an informed decision. You can have a relative or friend with you when you talk to the research team to help you decide. They can help you remember what the researchers said and talk it over with you later.
You should feel able to ask any questions that will help you. It is also important to think about any practical issues that could affect your decisions. For example, this could include:
- having extra hospital appointments
- needing different tests
- having time off work.
We have a list of general and practical questions that you may want to ask.
A nurse or doctor from the research team will give you an information leaflet about the trial. You can take this away and read it in your own time. It can help to talk it over with your family or friends and to think about any practical issues involved.
We have more information about the benefits and risks of clinical trials that may help you.
If you decide you want to take part in the trial, the doctor or nurse from the research team will write it in your notes. They will ask you to sign a consent form saying you agree to take part. Your cancer doctor will also sign it and give you a copy to keep. During the trial, the research team are responsible for your care. They will talk to you about any day-to-day decisions needed for your treatment and care.