What is a clinical trial?

A clinical trial is a controlled experiment, conducted with the highest degree of ethical, regulatory and medical standards, that enable progress to be made in our speciality. In oncology, it is often the case that we are not fully certain of the superiority of one treatment over another. Performing this comparison within a clinical trial allows our experience to help other people (doctors and patients). If this decision is made by a doctor solely for a patient, we will never know if the treatment is actually more effective or not.

Participating in a clinical trial is above all an act of generosity due to the fact that it mostly only will serve for future patients. But think of the number of patients who have participated in clinical trials, which allow us to recommend a treatment for you. Clinical trials have been carefully designed for the purpose of being useful and your doctor has selected them due to believing them to be suitable in our Department and both the hospital Ethics Committee (CEIC) and the Spanish health authorities consider the trial to be suitable and opportune.

In accordance with the Declaration of Helsinki, the patient is always of utmost importance to a doctor, and prioritised over knowledge and his or her quest for research. Be assured that you will be attended to in the best conditions and that your doctor will ensure that the research will never cause you harm. Clinical trials involve research studies on people who voluntarily choose to participate in the same, receiving drugs that have already been used successfully in animals or other people in other situations. A patient may decide to drop out of a clinical trial without the need to provide any reason (even though we would try to find out why in case it might be useful to others).

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