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Incentives for Participation in a Randomized Controlled Trial

Principal investigator: Scott Halpern, MD, PhD, M.Bioethics

Paying patients to enroll in randomized clinical trials could dramatically improve the pace and scientific validity with which new interventions for cancer and other diseases are tested, but the practice raises important ethical concerns. To inform the regulation of research incentives and reduce undue variability in their use, we will conduct a randomized trial of 3 real incentives for patients with lung cancer to participate in a real trial comparing two forms of radiation therapy. The trial’s innovative design will enable definitive tests of how patients make research decisions in the face of money, and will provide the best possible evidence regarding the scientific and ethical pros and cons of incentives for research participation.

Funder: NCI/NIH