Patient information

What is a Clinical Trial?

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Clinical trials are research investigations.  People volunteer to test new treatments, interventions or tests as a means to prevent, detect, treat or manage various diseases or medical conditions.

Clinical trials help to determine if new interventions work, if they are safe, if new ways of combining existing interventions improve outcomes, and if new interventions are better than the available treatments.

Why do we need Clinical Trials?

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Clinical trials are essential to enable development of new interventions.  Without trials we can’t determine whether new medicines created in a laboratory are effective or safe.

Trials enable us to improve health care services by raising standards of treatment.  Australian clinical trials are internationally recognised for providing very high quality patient care.

Healthcare services running clinical trials are committed to providing best practice patient care.

Is it safe to take part in a clinical trial?

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Any medical test, drug or procedure has risks, and no treatment is completely safe for everyone.

Clinical Trial activity in Australia is regulated by National and International guidelines and approved by ethical committees and institutional governance offices. The ICCC delivers clinical trials programs that are high quality and regulatory compliant. It has robust systems in place to ensure high standards of patient safety, conduct and delivery.

For most people the benefits of taking part in a clinical trial outweigh the possible risks. Often clinical trials for cancer treatment are conducted on people with untreatable late stage cancer.  These people are very important for cancer care trials because they provide much needed results for future improvement to cancer treatment. 

What should I do if I want to take part in a clinical trial?

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If you are interested in taking part in a clinical trial or wish to find out what trials are available, please discuss this with your doctor.

If you see a trial that you are interested in, contact your doctor, nursing staff at your local hospital or allied health professionals.

Do I have to pay to take part in a trial?

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There will be no additional costs to you for the study visits and procedures. You will be asked to pay for the cost of the drugs that would normally be prescribed for your condition at prices determined by the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS). This would be the same as if you were not participating in this study. You will not be paid for participation in the study.

Travelling and parking costs that are specifically related to study visits may be reimbursed.

In addition, our experienced Cancer Clinical Trials team can help you navigate and access any available cancer resources and funding. 

More information

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If you are interested in learning more about clinical trials you may also like to visit the following websites: