Studies which are conducted in order to evaluate a new drug, a new combination of drugs or new delivery protocols are called clinical trials or research trials. The purpose of these studies is to answer scientific questions, as well as to find better ways to help treat cancer patients. At Hematology & Oncology Associates of RI, we are involved in clinical trials on an ongoing basis. We believe strongly that this involvement in clinical trials helps to keep our physicians abreast of the latest developments in cancer drugs and treatment protocols. We also encourage many of our patients to take advantage of these new treatment protocols or participate in the clinical trials that we can offer.
How Clinical Trials Work
Before participating in a clinical trial, each patient must be evaluated. Patients who are found eligible to participate in the trial will receive an explanation of the study in detail. Those who agree to participate in the clinical trial will be asked to sign a consent form. Each patient will be monitored closely during treatment and after the study has been completed.
One concern that many patients have about the cost of treatment while undergoing a clinical trial. Some of the drugs that are used in the trial are provided free-of-charge by the study. However, tests such as x-rays, labs and other testing are usually not. These tests are considered part of any standard treatment plan and are often paid for by health insurance. Any tests that are not part of a standard evaluation will usually be paid for by the clinical trial.
If you have any questions about the clinical trials that Hematology & Oncology Associates of RI is currently participating in or to find out if you are eligible to participate in a clinical trial, please speak with one of our physicians or staff members for more information.