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How to Enroll In a Phase 1 Clinical Trial

When should I think about joining a clinical trial?

It may be appropriate to begin discussions with your oncologist about clinical trials after you have completed approved therapies for your cancer and are now looking for experimental treatments. The Developmental Therapeutics Program helps evaluate patients for phase I and II clinical trials and assists in connecting patients to the faculty and staff conducting the studies.

How do I join a clinical trial?

If you are a current patient at Johns Hopkins, please tell your health care provider that you are interested in clinical trials, including phase I.

  1. Your health care provider will send a referral to the Developmental Therapeutics Program Referral Nurse. The Referral Nurse will obtain specific details regarding your medical history to assess, on a basic level, whether you may be eligible for phase I or II clinical trials. The Referral Nurse will contact you to discuss available trials. Some clinical trials may require a wash-out, or a specific wait time, between previous treatments and the clinical trial treatment. There may also be delays because of the limited number of slots available in many clinical trials.
  2. Johns Hopkins faculty and staff will seek clearance from your insurance provider. If insurance coverage is denied, Johns Hopkins faculty and staff may be able to seek an appeal. It is our experience that the majority of our patients will eventually be approved for a clinical trial.
  3. You will then be referred to the Research Nurse coordinating a specific trial to schedule a screening appointment that may involve further testing to make a final determination on eligibility for the clinical trial.
  4. The process of joining a clinical trial should take approximately 2 weeks, and in rare cases can take up to one month.

If you are not a patient at Johns Hopkins, please call our New Patient Referral Office at 410-955-8964 (press option 2, for medical oncology appointments) to arrange for a consultative appointment with a medical oncologist. Please tell the appointment representatives that you are interested in the Developmental Therapeutics Program.

What if I don’t qualify for a trial?

Because of the critical nature of early-phase clinical trials, each study has a specific and strict set of eligibility criteria, and many patients may not fit those criteria. We are continually adding new clinical trials to the range of studies available to patients. Patients who do not qualify for available clinical trials at a particular time may be reevaluated again when new trials are opened, and should speak with their oncologist about other treatment options.