What is a clinical trial?
When a scientist working in a laboratory on cells and animal models discovers a new therapy for diseases such as cancer and Alzheimer’s disease, this new product has to first be tested on humans in a clinical trial to confirm its safety and efficacy prior to being approved for use in the general population. If the new investigational product turns out to be both safe and effective, it may be approved by health authorities to make it accessible to all patients.
When a patient participates in a clinical trial, he is followed closely by the clinical trial doctor and team and has to regularly visit the medical center or hospital where the trial is taking place. It is important to note that not all clinical trials look into testing novel therapies. Some trials aim at testing novel diagnostic methods or supporting patients with specific needs. Other trials aim at testing a drug, previously approved by the health authorities to treat a specific condition, to treat a different condition.
Who can participate in a clinical trial?
You may not be eligible to participate to a clinical trial that corresponds to your condition. Each trial has specific eligibility criteria. When you send us your personal information, we will forward them to the clinical trial nurse who will communicate with you to get your authorization to access your medical record. Once obtained, the clinical trial doctor will examine your record to determine your eligibility. Healthy individuals may also participate to some phase I clinical trials. If this is your case, please click here.
Why participate to a clinical trial?
When you participate in a clinical trial, you contribute to the development of new treatments and to the advancement of medical research and in doing so, you help other patients. Moreover, the new investigational product tested in the clinical trial might turn out to be effective.
The new investigational product tested in the clinical trial might cause side effects. These side effects might be minor or serious. Side effects specific to each trial will be explained to you in detail by the clinical trial team if you turn out to be eligible to participate to help you make your decision (please see making the decision to participate in a clinical trial). It is also possible that the new investigational product may not be effective.
Making the decision to participate in a clinical trial
Your participation in a given clinical trial is voluntary. You are free to refuse to participate. You can also withdraw from the clinical trial at any point in time, without providing justification, simply by letting the project manager or one of his assistants know about your decision.
Making the decision not to participate in a clinical trial or to withdraw from one will not affect the quality of care and services you are entitled to as a patient and will not affect your relationship with the investigator in charge of the clinical trial (which can be your doctor) or with the medical staff.
The decision to participate in a clinical trial is a personal important decision. Before making such a decision, you must assess the potential benefits as well as the disadvantages and risks involved. For each clinical trial, the clinical research team will give you all the details regarding the trial of interest to you so you can make an informed decision. We invite you to ask all the necessary questions and take time to think about it. It is also highly suggested to discuss this decision with your family and friends.