By Cheryl Ellis, Staff Writer
Is Clinical Trial Right for us?
Connecting with the appropriate trial that allows
the individual to receive cutting edge treatment is
not as hard as it once was. There are sites
online that allow for “matching” to the appropriate
trial. These sources offer detailed processing
to ensure the person is in the correct trial. The
National Cancer Institute has an online help form to
locate clinical trials and the results of some
trials are available: http://www.cancer.gov/clinicaltrials/basic-search-form-help
Aside from the altruistic benefits of participating
in a trial, there are many personal advantages.
Caregiver and loved one can take part in counseling
and advanced cancer management strategies, the
benefits of which continue after the trial has
Information from the clinical trial will help your
loved one’s doctor in enhancing their care. If
the trial medication or therapy does not provide a
significantly positive outcome, it can help doctors
redirect their therapy in a direction to enhance
treatment. Many clinical trials provide
information for physicians that could not be
obtained with traditional therapy. The amount
of monitoring, cross-referencing and documentation
provide useful details about the “concentrated care”
a clinical trial offers.
A clinical trial is not a “last resort,” although it
can provide help for some individuals where current
therapy is at a transition point. Bright
alternatives and new frontiers are available for any
who participate in a trial, especially in the age of
“ideal” matching of patient to clinical trial.
Understanding your own expectations (and especially
your loved one’s) will help you as the study
progresses. Don’t be afraid to discuss your
hopes with the staff so you can begin the experience
feeling at ease.
Cancer, a devastating word to hear in conjunction
with your loved one’s health and future, can be a
health crisis that bonds everyone involved, helping
to create the healing “cure” that balances not only
the cells, but the soul.