FirstHealth of the Carolinas

Frequently Asked Questions


Who decides if I can participate in a certain clinical trial?

The participating physician and research nurse determine a patient's eligibility to participate in a specific clinical trial based on the requirement for that clinical trial. If the patient is eligible, then it is up to the patient to make the final decision whether or not they want to participate.

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Who decides which treatment I will receive?

Most clinical studies randomize the patients to a specific treatment arm in a random manner, often by computer.

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Do cancer patients ever receive placebos (inactive medications) in a clinical trial?

Cancer patients in a clinical trial always receive the current standard of care or a new treatment that the study sponsors believe is as good as or better than the standard of care. The only use of a placebo in a clinical trial would be in combination with standard treatment to compare standard treatment alone to standard treatment and a new drug.

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Who sponsors cancer clinical trials?

The National Cancer Institute (NCI) sponsors most of the clinical trials at FirstHealth Moore Regional Hospital. Drug companies may also sponsor clinical trials in order to show that the drugs and medical devices they are developing are safe and effective and should receive FDA approval for use by all cancer patients. Some clinical trials may be sponsored by cancer research facilities at UNC-Chapel Hill and Duke University.

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How are the clinical trials paid?

The clinical trial sponsor pays for the experimental treatment. Some sponsors may pay a small amount for travel expenses for treatment or required tests. Most health insurance companies pay for routine costs involved in a clinical trial. Medicare pays the routine costs in all government-sponsored Phase II and Phase III treatment clinical trials for Medicare recipients.

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