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Clinical Trials - Frequently Asked Questions

Who Can Participate In A Clinical Trial?

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All clinical trials have guidelines about who is allowed to participate in the program. Guidelines are based on such factors as age, type of disease, medical history (including treatments you may or may not have used), and current medical condition. Before you join a trial, you must qualify for the study. Inclusion and exclusion criteria are used to identify the appropriate participants and to protect their safety. The criteria also help to improve the odds that researchers will be able to determine the answers to the questions they plan to study. The criteria are not used as a personal rejection for those individuals wishing to participate in a trial.

"Inclusion Criteria" is the term used to describe people who may participate in a particular trial. For example, a trial may only be looking for people that have been diagnosed with Stage IV breast cancer.

"Exclusion Criteria" is the term used to describe people who may not participate in a particular trial. For example, a person with an HIV diagnosis may not be eligible for a particular trial if she is currently taking, or did take, a specified anti-viral medication.

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