Why should I participate in a clinical trial? If I participate in a trial I take a risk and probably the trial will fail to prove that there is a better drug or treatment, so why should I put myself at risk with no chance of anyone getting any benefit?

This is an excellent question that many of us ask. However, we also know that clinical trials are vital in our search for better methods of prevention, detection and treatment for not only prostate cancer, but for all cancers and diseases. In a study published in “Archives of Internal Medicine” (2008; 168:632-642) Dr. Benjamine Djulbegovic M.D., Ph.D. from the Lee Moffitt Cancer Center and Research Institute at the University of South Florida, Tampa Florida assessed the success rates of NIH sponsored phase III clinical.

The study assessed 624 trials involving over 216,000 different subjects. He found that 25% to 50% of the trials demonstrated that a new, novel treatment that was the subject of the trial was successful. So, don’t assume that you are not contributing to making significant progress towards better treatments. Also, remember that even negative results contribute to our knowledge base.

Joel T Nowak MA, MSW