Frequently Asked Questions

What does is cost to participate in a clinical study?

Participating in a clinical trial typically costs no more or less than receiving standard of care treatment.  All costs directly related to the research such as study specific tests, additional scans and the study medication are usually paid for by the study sponsor.  Sometimes sponsors reimburse patients for mileage and travel costs to study visits or for lodging if the study requires overnight stays.  The costs for procedures that would occur if the patient was receiving standard therapy, for example, examinations, routine blood work and routine scans are paid for by insurance.  Patients are responsible for the copays associated with standard of care charges.


What if I change my mind after I consent and enroll? 

A patient can withdraw from a clinical trial at any time for any reason and without any penalty. 


I'm not a Penn Medicine patient yet, can I still enroll in a study at Penn Medicine? 

To participate in a trial at Penn Medicine, a patient must be seen by a member of the clinical team who will review medical history, perform an examination, and discuss treatment options. The patient can decide after this clinic visit whether to participate in a trial at Penn Medicine or seek treatment at another hospital. Patients interested in clinical trials can contact our research team who will answer questions and assist with next steps.


I am a Penn Medicine patient and I'm interested in a study that is open at another site, what should I do? 

Let your doctor know.  Your clinical team will work with you to assure you receive the best treatment available for you and will assist even if that means seeking treatment at a different hospital.


I’m concerned about the costs of cancer treatment.  What will my insurance cover? 

You are not alone. Half of cancer patients struggle with the costs of their care. Financial navigation may be able to help you with the costs of care and working with your insurance on coverage. Financial navigation is when you meet with a trained financial counselor to discuss your insurance coverage and work to reduce the costs of cancer care. Financial navigation is available through the Penn Abramson Cancer Center.


What if I don’t have insurance?  

Our social work team can work with you to find insurance options for your cancer care.


Who can I contact for more information about financial questions and concerns?

If you are interested in financial navigation, you can ask your clinical team for a referral at your next visit or via MyChart. Or you can contact the project coordinator,, directly to be linked to financial navigation.

If you have lost your insurance, please contact your clinical team via MyChart or at your next visit for a referral to social work.