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FAQs: BreastCancerTrials.org

Frequently Asked Questions: BreastCancerTrials.org

Why was BCT started?
We saw the need for a patient-centered service that would help individuals learn about the role clinical trials play in advancing breast cancer care and identify the trials that might be right for them. We believe that learning about breast cancer clinical trials should be a routine part of breast cancer care. Read Our Story.
You say you are patient-centered. What does that mean?
We believe that all individuals should have access to and receive unbiased, easy-to-comprehend information that will allow them to direct their cancer care. As a patient-centered service, we respect individual choices and the personal values that inform decision-making. Our goal is not to convince you to join a clinical trial. Rather, our service and website were designed to help you gain insight into the clinical trials process and determine whether a specific clinical trial may be right for you.
Do you include all research sites that are enrolling patients for a specific trial?
Each trial listing includes contact information for all of the sites that are enrolling patients.
How does BCT differ from other clinical trial matching services or from Cancer.gov?
We developed BCT to meet the specific needs of individuals looking for information about breast cancer trials. You will find the same list of breast cancer trials on BCT that you would find on Cancer.gov, ClincialTrials.gov  or other services. What make us different are our:
  • QuickViews, which allow you to quickly see the types of breast cancer trials that are available organized by subject or patient type
  • Matching Tool, which can identify the trials that most closely match your health history and current health concerns
  • Easy-to-read patient-friendly trial information
  • SecureCONNECT service, which allows you to contact participating research sites
  • Trial Alert Service, which lets you know when we’ve posted a new trial that matches your health history
Do you also list breast cancer research studies that are not clinical trials?
Yes. On BCT you will find treatment trials for individuals with stage I, stage II, stage III, and stage IV (metastatic) breast cancer. You will also find observational studies (sometimes referred to as epidemiologic studies); prevention, screening, and diagnostic trials; studies looking at quality of life issues that affect individuals during and after treatment; and trials investigating the role that complementary and alternative medicine can have in cancer care. You can learn more about these studies here.
How can I find out whether any new trials that I might be eligible for have been added to BCT?
The easiest way is to sign up for our Trial Alert Service, which will inform you when we list a new trial you might qualify for. You can also log in to our website at any time with the user name and the password you provided to look for new trials. By clicking on "My Trials" you will see the current list of trials for which you might be eligible.

BCT's Matching Tool

How do QuickViews differ from BCT’s Matching Tool?
QuickViews allow you to see all the trials listed on BCT organized either by tumor or trial type. QuickViews give you an overview of studies, but are not personalized to your situation. In contrast, BCT’s Matching Tool uses the Health History Form you complete to provide you with a personalized list of trials for which you may be eligible.
How does BCT determine which trials might be right for me?
After you complete your Health History Form, our sophisticated Matching Tool assesses whether your health history meets the eligibility criteria for any of the clinical trials listed on our website.
Can I use BCT’s Matching Tool without saving my Health History Information?
Yes. If you are uncomfortable with saving your Health History information on our website, you can use our service as a Guest by clicking the button that says, "Show Trials-Don't Save My Health History." However, if you don’t save your information you will need to re-type in your Health History information the next time you use BCT’s matching service.
Why did the Matching Tool show me a trial I don't qualify for?

Our Matching Tool is designed to provide the most comprehensive list of trials for which you might be eligible. For example, some eligibility criteria, such as those based on other health conditions (e.g.. prior heart disease) require clinical judgment that goes beyond what we can collect in an online questionnaire. Since these are important determinants of eligibility we collect, this information even though we don’t match against it, so that it will show up in your Health Summary as a reminder to discuss with a study coordinator.

In other cases, there may be instances where the Matching Tool makes a mistake. If this occurs, please let us know, as it will help us to make our Matching Tool even better.


Health History Form

Can I get information about trials without completing a Health History Form?
Yes. You can See All Trials and use QuickViews to view all of the trials listed on our website by preselected tumor type or subject categories. You do not need to complete a Health History Form to use QuickViews or to obtain contact information for a research site that is conducting a trial that interests you.
Is the information I put in my Health History Form safe on your website?
Yes. BCT will never use or share your personalized Health History without your permission, and no outside party has access to the Health History Information stored on our secure server.
Do I have to complete my Health History all at one time?
No. You can start a Health History, take a break for hours, days, weeks, or even months, and then come back to complete it. When you are ready to take a break, save your answers by clicking "Save and Finish Later." You can also select "Print," if you'd like to print out the Health History. When you return, log in to BCT with the email address and the password you provided to see your Health History and continue where you left off.
Can I change, update, or delete my Health History?
You can update or delete your Health History at any time by clicking on My Account.
What if my diagnosis or health concern changes after I have completed my Health History?
If this occurs, you will need to log in to the BCT website with the email address and the password you provided and click on the Health Summary page, where you can select a new diagnosis or health concern. After you make this change, you will be prompted to answer questions related to your new diagnosis or health concern. Answering these questions will allow BCT to find trials for which you might now be eligible.
Some of the questions on the Health History Forms have a LEARN MORE link next to them. What does this mean?
The LEARN MORE link lets you know that more information is available about a particular question. This information is intended to help you finish the form more quickly and accurately.

Matching to a Trial

If I get a match, does that mean I can enroll in that trial?
Not necessarily. Our Matching Tool assesses whether you are eligible for a trial based on a set of screening criteria related to your breast cancer history. However, there are additional criteria that must be evaluated by the research staff before it can be determined if you are eligible. These may include laboratory tests, findings from physical examination, or criteria that are unique to that trial.
Why does the contact information vary among research sites?
The information varies according to our relationship with individual research sites. Sites that are members of our Trial Site Network have agreed to use our online message service, and can be contacted through SecureCONNECT. Sites that are not yet members of our Network can be contacted through the information they have provided.
How can I share my Health History with a BCT Participating Site?
Members of our Trial Site Network have access to SecureCONNECT, a BCT service that allows you to send a message directly to the research site. This email gives the research staff your contact information as well as permission to log in to BCT and view your Health Summary. You can withdraw this access at any time. Sharing your Health Summary with a research site does not require you to enroll in a clinical trial. It just allows them to learn more about your health history, which can help them--and you--determine if the trial may be right for you.
What happens if I have problems making contact with a research site?
If a research site has not responded to your calls or emails, or if you discover that the contact information is incorrect, please send us a message so that we can address your problem. We monitor how long it takes for a research site to review its SecureCONNECT messages. If the site is not responding, we may ask our technology team to provide us with your email address so we can facilitate communication between you and the research site.
How should I prepare to talk with the research staff?
Before you speak with the research staff, we suggest you review and print out Questions to Ask the Researcher. We also recommend that you ask the research site if they would like to review your BCT Health Summary before you speak with them. You can print the summary and fax or mail it to the research site or create a PDF copy and send it by email.
Will the research staff pressure me to enroll?
Not at all. Their job is to give you information to help you decide what is best for you. Not everyone who explores a trial decides to enroll.

How to Get Help

What happens if I forget my password?
It is easy to retrieve your password. Just leave it blank when you login. Then, enter your "secret answer" when prompted. A new password will be sent to the email address you provided.
What happens if I forget the email address I used when registering?
If you forget your email address, send us a message at Help-Desk@bctrials.org or call the BCT Help Desk at (888) 282-7099. After you provide the "secret answer" to your question, the help desk will provide you with your email address.
What happens if I need help while completing the Health History Form?
You can access online help by clicking the LEARN MORE link next to that question. If you need additional assistance, or if you have technical problems with our website, send us a message at Help-Desk@bctrials.org or call the BCT Help Desk at (888) 282-7099. We will do our best to get back to you within 1 business day.
Where can I get explanations for some of the medical terms used in the Health History Forms?
If you are unsure of a definition for a medical term, or would like more information regarding a specific diagnosis or treatment, you can use our dictionary. We also recommend the following websites, which provide both medical glossaries and breast cancer information: