“It might be time to consider a clinical trial.” I have heard this many times in my work with the American Cancer Society. Unfortunately, in most cases, people think of clinical trials as the option of last resort, so they consider one only when all other treatment options have failed.
But the truth is that clinical trials should always be considered as a treatment option. In fact, there are clinical trials for almost every type of cancer and stage of disease – there are even clinical trials for cancer prevention! Without clinical trials, we would see virtually no advances in cancer treatment.
The good news is that more and more people are considering a cancer clinical trial when they are first diagnosed – and that helps speed up breakthroughs in cancer care. But there is clearly a need for more people to learn about and consider this option.
Take a look at pediatric cancer. When I was growing up in the 1970’s, there were several books that highlighted the stories of teenagers diagnosed with leukemia. Unfortunately, most of these stories didn’t end well. However, since the 1970’s, the cure rate of acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) has gone from 30% to 80%, largely due to advances discovered during cancer clinical trials.… Continue reading →