If you want to check out a potential clinical trial for your cat, these are questions to ask his veterinarian and the study’s research coordinator.
Questions for the veterinarian:
– What is the standard of care? Your cat may already be receiving the standard of care if he has been diagnosed with the disease under study for some time, but his veterinarian can outline it more explicitly for you and explain how it differs from the proposed treatment.
– Are there other treatments that can extend my cat’s life or offer better quality of life?
– How will participation affect my cat’s quality of life?
– Do you think this study is a worthwhile endeavor? Why or why not?
Questions for the research coordinator:
– Is there a cost to enroll my cat? The expenses of running a clinical trial can be substantial, from $1,000 to $1,500 or more per animal. Usually, the care of the animal is free, which is an incentive for owners to enroll their pets.
– What are the potential side effects of this new treatment? You will want to weigh whether they’re worth the potential benefits your cat may receive.
– If my cat receives a placebo, will he later have an opportunity to receive the investigational treatment?
– If my cat’s condition is painful, will he receive pain medication during the study? Pain control should always be a component of a clinical trial.
– Can I remove my cat from the study at any time?
The answers to these questions can help you decide whether it’s best for you and your cat to go with the current standard of care or to try the new treatment being studied.