Safety of Clinical Trials

OncoLink
Last Modified: May 8, 2012

Question:

My doctor has asked me to consider a clinical trial as my treatment. Are these trials safe? Could it really be better than the treatment that most people get for pancreatic cancer?

Answer:

Ursina Teitelbaum, MD, Medical Oncologist at Penn Medicine adds,

When patients are enrolled on clinical trials, there are many safeguarding mechanisms in place to keep people safe. Our hope is that we can improve upon the standard of care and offer you the opportunity for treatments not conventionally available although there is no guarantee within the context of a clinical trial that it is in fact better. All of our standard available therapies went through this rigorous trials process also. If a patient is fit enough, we always try to offer them the opportunity to enroll in a clinical trial. It is, however, a personal choice and not the right fit for everyone and we will take excellent care of you whether or not you are enrolled in a trial. You can also sign up for a trial and decide it is not for you so it is not a binding contract, just an opportunity.

This question and answer was part of the OncoLink Brown Bag Chat Series. View the entire transcript from the Focus on Pancreatic Cancer Webchat.

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