Clinical Trial Myths: Day 3

May 22, 2019

I will receive a placebo and give up standard therapy while participating in a clinical trial.

Patients may fear that they will receive a “placebo,” a drug that is given that does not contain any active ingredients, and their cancer will be untreated. Some clinical trials use placebos, and a patient may be placed in this group.

However, no patient receiving a placebo will be denied standard of care while participating in the trial. Instead, the patient will receive the placebo along with the care they would otherwise be receiving it they were not involved in the clinical trial.

Individuals receiving the additional therapy in the clinical trial will also receive standard of care at the same time. Researchers then compare the outcomes of those receiving standard of care alone versus those receiving the new therapy and standard of care. This is necessary to determine if the new therapy is worse, better, or the same as the standard of care.