​Each clinical trial protocol states who can or cannot join the trial based on the questions the research is trying to answer.


Common criteria for entering a trial

  • Having a certain type or stage of cancer
  • Having received a certain kind of therapy in the past
  • Being in a certain age group

Criteria such as these help ensure that people in the trial are as alike as possible. This way doctors can be sure that the results are due to the treatment being studied and not other factors.

These criteria also help ensure:

  • Safety: Some people have health problems besides cancer that could be made worse by the treatments in a study. If you are interested in joining a trial, you will receive medical tests to be sure that you are not put at increased risk.
  • Accurate and meaningful study results: You may not be able to join some clinical trials if you have already had another kind of treatment for your cancer. Otherwise, doctors could not be sure whether your results were due to the treatment being studied or the earlier treatment.

Adapted from National Cancer Institute


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Last reviewed: 10/11/2018
Last modified: 10/12/2018 6:26 AM