|Enrolling Cats and Dogs in Veterinary Clinical Trials
|Where do I find clinical trials for cats and dogs with cancer?
For currently ongoing trials in dogs with cancer, please visit the "Dog Clinical Trials" section.
For currently ongoing trials in cats with cancer, please visit the "Cat Clinical Trials" section.
Before enrolling in clinical trials
Participation in a clinical trial is voluntary and only you can make the decision about whether or not to enroll your pet in a
research study. Before you make your final decision, you should carefully evaluate the following issues (source: National
Cancer Institute) :
The clinical trial
during and after the clinical trial?
- What is the purpose of the study?
- Why do researchers think the proposed approach may be effective?
- Who will sponsor the study?
- Who has reviewed and approved the study?
- How are study results and safety of participants being checked?
- How long will the study last?
- What will my responsibilities be if I participate?
- Do you and/or your family members have the time, resources and willingness to commit to the care of your pet
Risks and benefits
- What are the possible short-term and long-term benefits?
- What are the short-term and long-term risks, such as side effects?
- What other options does my pet have?
- How do the possible risks and benefits of this trial compare with those other options?
Participation and Care
- What kinds of therapies, procedures and /or tests will my pet have during the trial?
- Will they be painful and/or uncomfortable, and if so, for how long?
- How do the tests in the study compare with those outside of the trial?
- Will my pet be able to take its regular medications while in the clinical trial?
- Where will my pet have its medical care?
- Who will be in charge of the care?
- Can I talk to other people in the study?
- Will I have to pay for any part of the trial such as tests or the study drug?
- If so, what will the charges likely be?
- What is my pet health insurance likely to cover?
What is informed consent?
Informed consent is a process in which you learn the key facts about a clinical trial before you decide whether or not to
have your pet participate. In addition to discussing these facts with the veterinarian, they will be included in a written
consent form that you can take home to read and discuss. The consent form should typically include details about the
study approach, the type of treatment given, the possible risks and benefits, the tests your pet may have to undergo, the
duration of the clinical trial and any other specific instructions about the responsibilities of the pet owners. If something is
not clear to you whether it is before you sign the informed consent or after, don't hesitate to ask the doctor for
clarification. You can change your mind and remove your pet from the study whenever you want -- before the study starts
or at any time during the study or follow-up period.
What happens during a trial?
If you decide to participate in a clinical trial, you will work with a research team who will provide your pet's care, monitor its
health carefully, and give specific instructions about the study. Participating in a trial may mean that your pet might have
more tests and doctor visits than it would if it weren't in the study and the team members may continue to stay in contact
with you about the health of your pet after the trial ends. To make the trial results as reliable as possible, it is important for
participants to follow the research team's instructions. That means having all doctor visits and tests, taking medicines on
time, and completing logs or answering questionnaires. However, you may choose to withdraw from the trial at any point
and are not obligated to finish the trial should you decide that it is not right for your pet.
Who is eligible to participate in a clinical trial?
Each study has its own guidelines on who can participate, called eligibility (or inclusion) criteria and who cannot
participate, called exclusion criteria. Examples of eligibility criteria for a clinical trial might be a particular type and stage of
cancer, age, gender, or previous treatments. Examples of exclusion criteria for a clinical trial might be other medical
conditions (eg heart disease), previous treatments, or results of a blood test (eg certain levels of liver enzymes).To find
out if your pet is eligible for a particular study, talk to the veterinarian in charge of the study and read the informed
consent. It is important to know that the inclusion and exclusion criteria are designed to protect the safety of the
participants and your pet should NOT be enrolled if the exclusion criteria clearly disqualify its participation.
|PET CANCER CENTER
Comprehensive guide to cancer diagnosis and treatment in cats and dogs
© 2007 Pet Cancer Center. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.
Last updated 4/10/13