Benefits and Risks of Participating in a Clinical Trial 

The treatments used in clinical trials are experimental and have risks and benefits. Before you start a trial, a health-care provider will discuss the potential risks and side effects of the treatment they are studying. (This is called ‘Informed Consent’ and is discussed below.) Patients in clinical trials are closely monitored and may be seen more often by health-care providers and receive feedback on their condition more frequently.



Benefits may include the following: 


  • Playing a more active role in one’s own health care


  • Gaining access to new research treatments before they are widely available


  • Obtaining expert medical care at leading health care facilities during the trial


  • Helping future patients by contributing to medical research


  • Helping scientists find new and better cancer treatments



Risks may include the following:


  • Unpleasant side effects


  • Serious side effects


  • Unknown health risks





Information used in the develop this page was sourced from the following institutions: The Huntsman Cancer Institute's Clinical Trials Office and the Mayo Clinic.