What are clinical trials and why take part in one?
The aim of medical clinical trials is to improve the treatments and care management of patients.
There are two types of clinical trial:
- Pharmaceutical clinical trials
- Academic clinical trials
Pharmaceutical clinical trials
Pharmaceutical clinical trials offer a new drug brought to the market to the patient being treated at the cost of the company. This has a mutual benefit: the patient receives all the latest treatments refined in the pharmaceutical laboratories and the laboratories receive results that are essential in helping the company advance research devoted to the fight against cancer.
Academic clinical trials
Academic clinical trials are initiated by the clinicians at the Cancer Center. The aim of these trials is to improve the management and treatment of patients at all levels. There are not only drug trials aimed at comparing the different current treatments but also dietary, psychological and neurocognitive trials led by professionals in the field concerned.
How can I take part in a clinical trial?
Participation in a clinical trial is proposed by the doctor at the time of diagnosis of the disease when a patient meets all of the criteria necessary for admission to a trial. In order to better inform the patient and answer their questions, the doctor organizes a consultation to outline the trial and how it will take place. At the end of this consultation, the patient decides whether or not they wish top participate in the this trial. It is important to state that the patient's “informed consent” (a document demonstrating their willingness to participate in a trial) can be withdrawn at any time if the patient so wishes in order to stop the clinical trial and receive standard treatments.
Clinical trials are now under the strict surveillance of Ethics Committees and constant international surveillance so that the rights of patients are respected and to ensure that all of the information on the clinical trial is sent to the patient before they give their consent.
Medical clinical trial coordinators
Medical clinical trial coordinators (MCTC) manage clinical trials and are responsible for their organization and successful completion under the supervision of doctors.
MCRCs are providers of information:
- they inform the patient of their rights, obligations and the conduct of the trial, and serve as a permanent contact between the medical team and the patient,
- they collect and transmit clinical data in order to advance scientific research,
- they also serve as the direct points of contact with the pharmaceutical laboratories and clinical research centers