Clinical trials are very important as they help develop a greater understanding of melanoma to improve the ways we can prevent, screen, diagnose or treat it. They aim to ultimately improve the quality of life of those who have the disease.
Clinical trials take place all over the world and vary in size. They are conducted by doctors, nurses, scientists, research assistants, data managers, pharmacists and other health professions; teams who work together to look after patients during the course of the trial. Each trial follows a Human Research Ethics Committee-approved – a carefully controlled protocol. The protocol is also a detailed plan for the aims of the research.
Trials are strictly voluntary and you have the option of withdrawing at any time.
There are a number of reasons why participants tell researchers that they like being involved in clinical trials. These include:
- An empowering feeling of being involved in your healthcare,
- potential health benefits,
- being a part of something that an change the lives of others for the better,
- experiencing a feeling of more care and attention, and
- learning about melanoma.
There may also be risks or downsides involved in participating in an experimental treatment, such as:
- Receiving no positive effect,
- experiencing potentially negative side effects,
- risk of randomisation to placebo (non-active)/observation group and
- devoting your personal time to the research and study visits.
You may be able to participate in some clinical trials in Tasmania but the majority of trials involved in the melanoma space at the moment require interstate travel – usually to Melbourne or Sydney. Some of this cost is paid for by the companies involved in the trial.
Please speak to your Specialist if you would like more information about clinical trials that may be appropriate for you.
You can also find out more information about clinical trials being undertaken in Australia and New Zealand via the Australia and New Zealand Melanoma Trials Group (ANZMTG). Membership is free.