Patients are encouraged to speak with their medical team about participating in a clinical trial.

Clinical Trial FAQ

What is a clinical trial?

Clinical trials are research studies to test a concept. The idea that is being tested could be a drug, a medical device, or a type of procedure. Clinical trials exist to determine if a new medicine or device is effective and safe for use in humans. A clinical trial may test the use of a combination of approved treatments, or an entirely new treatment. This educational resource created by the Global Colon Cancer Association is specifically referring to clinical trials that are testing colorectal cancer therapies (drugs). GCCA has prepared a downloadable PDF on this topic for your convenience.

Why is a clinical trial important?

Clinical trials bring new treatment options to patients. Without participation in clinical trials, new treatments can not be developed. Patients may join a clinical trial because the treatment(s) that they have tried were not successful in treating their disease. Other patients may have a biomarker and seek clinical trials that are targeting their specific biomarkers.

What can I expect when participating in a clinical trial?

  • When you contact the trial site, you will speak with staff and they will go over all the details about the clinical trial, as well as collect information about you.
  • After you’ve discussed the trial and do not have any more questions about participating in the trial, you will sign a document that is called an “informed consent form”.
  • You will be thoroughly screened to make sure that you meet the criteria to be able to participate in the trial.
  • Once accepted to participate in the trial, you will have a baseline visit where a variety of tests may be performed depending on the trial.
  • Participants are assigned at random to receive the experimental treatment or to the control group, which provides a standard treatment of care to combat your disease.

What questions should I be asking my healthcare team?

Prior to joining a clinical trial, it is important to speak with your medical team and the team running the trial. Patients and caregivers may also find it beneficial to speak with patients that have or are currently participating in a clinical trial. The Global Colon Cancer Association has created this downloadable worksheet that you can print and use as a discussion guide with your healthcare team. GCCA has prepared a downloadable PDF on this topic for your convenience.

Have you participated in a clinical trial? Want to share your story?

The Global Colon Cancer Association invites you to share you story with our community. All inquiries are confidential. Please contact us.

How can I learn more about clinical research trials?

Visit our RESOURCES section for links to colorectal cancer clinical trials and colorectal cancer organizations.

What are the phases of a clinical trial?

Downloads For Your Convenience

Resources For Finding Clinical Trials


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