Informed Consent for Cancer Clinical Trials
The Importance of Informed Consent
Informed consent is the process that ensures that cancer clinical trials are
conducted ethically, without undue risk to the participants. It is only one
part of a larger system of protections for people who want to help researchers
evaluate new medical treatments, procedures, and prevention techniques.
The current informed consent system in the United States has
evolved over the last half-century to ensure that risks do not outweigh
potential benefits, that trials use appropriate study designs, and to guarantee
that participants can withdraw at any time.
The consent system continues to evolve, with ongoing efforts to increase the
readability of consent documents and the embracing of new technologies, such as
the Internet, to communicate with research participants and those who might
consider participating in cancer clinical research.