Frequently Asked Questions

What is a clinical trial?

The World Health Organization (WHO) defines a clinical trial as “any research study that prospectively assigns human participants or groups of humans to one or more health-related interventions to evaluate the effects on health outcomes.

Who can participate in a clinical trial?

Each study has its own rules about who can — or cannot — participate. This is called “eligibility.” Your eligibility may be based on your age, gender, overall health, type and stage of a disease, treatment history, and other conditions. Not everyone is chosen to participate. You may be turned down simply because you do not have certain characteristics, such your gender or age.Things that allow you to participate are called “inclusion criteria,” and things that disqualify you are called “exclusion criteria.” People who participate in clinical trials do so freely and of their own will. They are volunteers. In many studies, the volunteers will have a common health condition, such as kidney disease, high blood pressure, or diabetes.

Where do I go for the trial appointment?

Once you go through the process of finding a clinical trial you can participate in and the informed consent process for a study, here's what you can expect from participating in a trial.

If you take part in a clinical trial, you may get tests or treatments in a hospital, clinic, or doctor's office. Participants in a clinical trial are often treated in the same way as other patients who aren’t in a clinical trial, but are more carefully monitored and may have more tests done. Clinical trials take place in doctors’ offices, medical centers, community hospitals and clinics, and veterans’ hospitals around the world. A particular trial may be offered at only one location, but some are conducted at many different hospitals across the world.

What are the benefits to me of participating in a clinical trial?

1.   You may get a new treatment for a disease before it is available to everyone.

2.   You play a more active role in your own health care.

3.   Researchers may provide you with medical care and more frequent health check-ups as part of your treatment.

4.   You may have the chance to help others get a better treatment for their health problems in the future.

5.   You may be able to get information about support groups and resources.

Why should I participate in a clinical trial?

Clinical trials are part of clinical research and at the heart of all medical advances. Clinical trials look at new ways to prevent, detect, or treat disease. Treatments might be new drugs or new combinations of drugs, new surgical procedures or devices, or new ways to use existing treatments. The goal of clinical trials is to determine if a new test or treatment works and is safe. Clinical trials can also look at other aspects of care, such as:

1.   Clinical trials are necessary!

2.   Improving the quality of life for people with chronic illnesses!

3.   Clinical trials can save your loved ones!

4.   Clinical trials give you access to new treatments!

5.   Clinical trials need participants from all backgrounds to participate!

What happens after a trial?

Once the clinical trial is over, or if your trial is stopped early for any reason, the research team will notify you immediately and advise you on the next steps. The trial doctors are still committed to providing you with ongoing care: with your consent, they will consult with your usual healthcare provider(s), fully inform them as to your health status, and transition you back into their care. In addition, all clinical trial confidentiality will be upheld. If a clinical trial ends, the research team will make themselves available to discuss results with you. You should also communicate the study findings to your primary physician to see if there are other trials for which you may qualify.

Only Alliance gives you an opportunity to be part of studies that shape the future of treatments and make the world a healthier place to live in.