About 10 days ago I appeared in Phoenix as a speaker at a regional education seminar put on by the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. My topic was sharing my experience as a participant in a clinical trial. I was delighted to do so, as I feel that trial saved my life and restored me to good health.
I am hoping my words encouraged others to consider being in a trial. There are no guarantees of the result, but trials are always worth considering. Unfortunately, few patients do. That may limit their choices and certainly holds back research that could help others. What a shame.
Clinical trials are defined as human subject research. It is through these trials that we determine if new drugs or devices can better serve patients than what is currently available. Clinical trials are available for almost every disease — although finding these trials can be challenging. Read more »
Most of us can’t keep up with all the new ways to avoid cancer. Thanks to the Internet, we now have an unlimited supply of cancer knowledge at our fingertips. But, how can we filter out the good, the bad and the questionable?
Below are steps to help you tease out the facts when reading that next big news story on preventing cancer.
Was this a press release from a company announcing a new breakthrough in cancer prevention?
Was it a report from a clinical study that was given at a scientific conference?
Was it a report from a study that was published in a respected medical journal?
Where was the study done? What do you know about the research centers that conducted and sponsored the study?
Knowing the answers to these questions can help you decide on where you need to go to seek more details about the study findings. Visit the source of the information to learn more about how this new substance or method was tested. Read more »
Next month the FDA is supposed to consider taking the unique, first-time-ever step of revoking a drug’s indication not because it’s dangerous, but because it doesn’t work well enough to offset its risks. Never mind that it costs about $8,000 a month.
The drug is Avastin (bevacizumab), a targeted monoclonal antibody that prevents tumors from creating and maintaining their own blood supply, a process called angiogenesis. Without oxygen and nutrients from blood, tumors can’t keep growing.
Avastin is the world’s best-selling cancer drug, approved for use with chemotherapy to treat lung cancer and metastatic colorectal and breast cancer. It is also being investigated (and, likely, being prescribed off label) for numerous other cancers. The problem comes with breast cancer. Read more »
Reporting from the American Society of Clinical Oncology conference in Chicago, empowered patient Andrew Schorr discusses how long it can take before a study is presented at ASCO and the role of clinical trials in giving patients access to the medicines of tomorrow today.
“…I have always depended on the kindness of strangers.” — Blanche DuBois in Tennessee Williams’ play A Streetcar Named Desire
Years ago when I began my medical training, I recall enrolling patients for clinical research. In cardiology, there were a myriad of questions that needed to be answered, especially in the area of defining which medications were best to limit the damage caused by a heart attack.
Patients routinely participated in large, multi-center prospective randomized trials to answer these questions. It was routine for them not to charged for participating in the trial — the drug(s) and additional testing would be funded by the company whose drug was being studied. Patients enrolled willingly, eager to help advance science and perhaps, in some small way, their fellow man. It never dawned on me in those early days why hospitals and research centers were so eager to promote research. Read more »
*This blog post was originally published at Dr. Wes*
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