Clinical trials are research studies you can volunteer to take part in. Clinical trials test new ways to prevent, diagnose, treat or manage cancer. To learn more about clinical trials in general, visit clinical trials.
You need a referral from a member of your cancer care team, like your oncologist or nurse, to participate in a clinical trial.
Taking part in a clinical trial is voluntary. This means you cannot be forced or told to take part in a clinical trial. You can choose not to take part or you can leave the clinical trial at any time. Your doctor will discuss further treatments with you and go on treating your cancer with the best options available.
Before you volunteer for a clinical trial, you will be told about all the facts of the clinical trial. This process is called informed consent. You will be provided with a consent form that will tell you about:
- The treatments, visits and tests required to participate in the clinical trial.
- Potential benefits, risks or side effects of the clinical trial.
- How your personal information will be kept confidential.
- Who to contact if you have questions
You will have time to review the consent form, ask questions, and decide if you would like to take part. Once you have agreed to take part in a clinical trial, we will give you a copy of your signed and dated consent form.
Determining your eligibility
Once you have signed the consent form, steps will be taken to make sure you meet all the requirements to take part in the clinical trial. This may include some additional tests and procedures that would not normally have if you were not taking part in the clinical trial.
If you are not eligible to take part, your doctor will discuss further treatments with you and go on treating your cancer with the best options available.
Health monitoring and follow up
If you are eligible to take part in the clinical trial, the clinical trials staff will meet with you during your clinic visits. They will also stay in regular contact with you and your cancer care team to ensure your safety and wellbeing.
You may receive phone calls from the clinical trials staff to ask how you are doing and if you have any questions and concerns. You will also be told about new information that may be relevant to your willingness to stay in the clinical trial. You can contact the clinical trials staff at any time.
You will be given a Clinical Trials Wallet Card that we ask you to show to all of your healthcare providers while you are taking part in the clinical trial. This card contains all of the information needed to contact your study doctor and the clinical trials staff in case of emergency or if you are admitted to a hospital.
When the results of the clinical trial have been analyzed, the findings will be published and shared with you.
Supplementary Contact Information
- Clinical trials must follow rules set by Health Canada, a research ethics board, and the hospital where the research is taking place. Kingston General Hospital has two research ethics boards that are used to get approval to conduct a clinical trial. Our local research ethics board is the Queen’s University Health Sciences & Affiliated Teaching Hospitals Research Ethics Board. The provincial research ethics board is the Ontario Cancer Research Ethics Board.
- If you have any questions about your rights as a research subject please feel free to contact Dr. Albert Clark, Chair of the Queen’s University Health Sciences & Affiliated Teaching Hospitals Research Ethics Board at 613-533-6081.