Cancer Clinical Trials Patient Information

If you are considering participating in a cancer clinical trial, it’s natural to have questions and we’re happy to help. We offer answers to frequently asked questions (FAQs). If you choose to participate, you receive one-on-one support from a research nurse throughout your cancer care journey.

A clinical trial is a research study testing new treatments in patient volunteers. These treatments may give you better chances for recovery or improved quality of life – especially for complex conditions such as cancer.

Lehigh Valley Topper Cancer Institute is a regional leader in clinical trials. We offer options for rare cancers as well as cancers that come back after treatment. Our decades of work in clinical trials helps you have a safe experience while receiving the very latest in cancer care.

Things to know about cancer clinical trials at Lehigh Valley Topper Cancer Institute

At the Cancer Institute, all patients are considered for clinical trials. The decision of whether to participate is yours. Participating in a clinical trial gives you access to new treatments before they are widely available, but also comes with some risks. 

Our team discusses these risks and answers any questions you have so you can make decisions you feel good about.

Our team includes dedicated research nurses who are by your side throughout the trial. We coordinate every step of your care, including any additional testing you may need. 

And if you change your mind at any time, let us know. You have the option to leave a trial for any reason.

FAQs about cancer clinical trials

Cancer clinical trial FAQs include: 

What is the purpose of a clinical trial?

When new treatments come out, testing is necessary to make sure they work as expected. Testing in large groups of people through clinical trials gives researchers a better idea of how factors such as age, gender, diagnosis and medical history may affect how they work. 

Who can participate in a clinical trial?

Anyone may be considered for a clinical trial, but only people who meet the trial’s guidelines may participate. You may need to have tried other treatments first. Find a cancer clinical trial

Which clinical trial is right for me?

Teams of cancer specialists, including our research nurses, come together in meetings called tumor boards. During these meetings, we discuss your care, including which clinical trials may be right for you. Find out more about tumor boards

I’d like more information. What questions should I ask?

You may want to ask:

  • What is the purpose of the clinical trial?
  • How often will I need to visit the doctor?
  • What are the possible risks?
  • Do I have other treatment options?

Will anyone know that I am participating in a clinical trial?

In addition to your doctors, we share information with the organization that is funding the clinical trial. We share the minimum necessary information, which often includes details about your care, but not your name or contact information. 

Do I need to see different doctors if I participate in a clinical trial?

No. You may continue seeing the same team of doctors. Your care may include additional visits or tests. Many people receive these services in the same locations they are already receiving their cancer care. 

Are clinical trials safe?

Before offering clinical trials, researchers perform studies demonstrating that the treatment is safe. These tests may include lab tests or animal testing. We also make sure the trial is safe for you by carefully considering your diagnosis and medical history. Our research nurses monitor your safety throughout the trial.