University at Buffalo - The State University of New York
Skip to Content
UBMD Physicians' Group

Is it right for me?

Participating in a clinical trial is an important decision. Don’t be afraid to ask questions, make sure you know all the facts and discuss the trial with your doctor to help you determine what’s best for you.

Who can participate in a clinical trial?

Some studies seek participants who have a particular illness, while others seek healthy participants. Typically, you must meet additional criteria to participate in a study. Common criteria researchers use to determine eligibility are age, sex and—in the case of studies seeking volunteers with a given illness—type and stage of disease, treatment history and other medical conditions.

What are the benefits of participating in a clinical trial?

You may have access to new drugs, medical devices and procedures before they become widely available. You will receive care from our medical experts throughout the trial. You help others by advancing medical knowledge and care.

Are there risks?

The experimental treatment may not work, or you may experience side effects. To minimize the risk of side effects, we closely monitor you during the clinical trial.

Does anyone review the clinical trial to make sure that it’s safe and ethical?

An independent committee known as the Institutional Review Board—or IRB— reviews, approves and monitors every clinical trial.

The IRB consists of physicians, researchers and community board members who ensure that:

  • the trial’s risks are minimal
  • its potential benefits outweigh any risks
  • your rights are fully protected

What is informed consent?

Informed consent is a process that helps you decide whether to participate in a clinical study. Researchers will provide you with key details about the study in an informed consent form.

This document includes such details as the study’s:

  • purpose
  • duration
  • required procedures, tests or medications
  • risks
  • potential benefits

Make sure you read all of the information in the consent form carefully. Remember that your participation in a clinical trial is voluntary; you should never feel pressured to join.

If you agree to participate in the study, you will sign the consent form.

You will continue to receive information throughout the study.

Can I withdraw from a clinical trial?

Yes, you are free to withdraw at any time, for any reason.

How can I participate in a UB clinical trial?

Speak with your UBMD physician or search our database of UB clinical trials, which lists trials currently enrolling volunteers, eligibility requirements and contact information for futher details.