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Before I join a clinical trial that involves immunotherapy, what questions should I ask?

ANSWER

Only you and your doctor can decide if a clinical trial that involves immunotherapy is right for you. Before you enroll, find out:

  • Immunotherapy drug benefits
  • Immunotherapy drug risks
  • Who you’ll be working with; you may work with doctors who aren’t members of your cancer care team
  • How long you’ll have treatment
  • What happens if the clinical trial is stopped, or if you need to stop early
  • The cost of treatment and whether insurance will cover it

SOURCES:

Milan Radovich, PhD, medical co-director, Indiana University/IU Health Precision Genomics Program, Indianapolis.

American Cancer Society: "Clinical Trials: What You Need to Know," "What is Cancer Immunotherapy?"

Cancer Research Institute: "Cancer Immunotherapy: Should You Participate?" "Head and Neck Cancer."

FDA: "Step 3: Clinical Research."

Elizabeth A. McGlynn, PhD, vice president, Kaiser Permanente Research, Oakland, CA.

National Cancer Institute: "Immunotherapy,” "Targeted Cancer Therapies."

University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center: "Immunotherapy," "Review Highlights Potential of Cancer Immunotherapy Plus Targeted Therapy."

Society of Gynecologic Oncology.

Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center: "6 Questions in Cancer Immunotherapy.”

Reviewed by Neha Pathak on February 23, 2019

SOURCES:

Milan Radovich, PhD, medical co-director, Indiana University/IU Health Precision Genomics Program, Indianapolis.

American Cancer Society: "Clinical Trials: What You Need to Know," "What is Cancer Immunotherapy?"

Cancer Research Institute: "Cancer Immunotherapy: Should You Participate?" "Head and Neck Cancer."

FDA: "Step 3: Clinical Research."

Elizabeth A. McGlynn, PhD, vice president, Kaiser Permanente Research, Oakland, CA.

National Cancer Institute: "Immunotherapy,” "Targeted Cancer Therapies."

University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center: "Immunotherapy," "Review Highlights Potential of Cancer Immunotherapy Plus Targeted Therapy."

Society of Gynecologic Oncology.

Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center: "6 Questions in Cancer Immunotherapy.”

Reviewed by Neha Pathak on February 23, 2019

NEXT QUESTION:

What should I expect during immunotherapy treatment?

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THIS TOOL DOES NOT PROVIDE MEDICAL ADVICE. It is intended for general informational purposes only and does not address individual circumstances. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment and should not be relied on to make decisions about your health. Never ignore professional medical advice in seeking treatment because of something you have read on the WebMD Site. If you think you may have a medical emergency, immediately call your doctor or dial 911.

    This tool does not provide medical advice. See additional information.