Apr 28, 2012

What do Clinical Trial Participants Really Want?

As you probably know by now there are many reasons for conducting clinical trials—trying out new drugs, exploring new drug combinations, testing drug safety, testing drug effectiveness, identifying and managing side effects, and many more.

But for most participants in clinical trials the main reason for volunteering is much simpler—the hope of longer and better survival. Cures are rare, but if a particular new drug or treatment makes you feel better and possibly live longer (and the ever-present side effects are tolerable) none of the overall statistics, percentages, comparisons, or dosage debates matter very much. Different treatments have different effects on different people. So what works for you may not work as well for me. Having more available treatments allows for individual differences.

Just having cancer already makes you a survivor. Surviving better and longer is the personal gold standard—however that happens for you. With the help of your medical team, support group, a good computer, and your own personal motivation, look for trials that you strongly believe may provide a particular benefit to you. The final decisions are always up to you.

The majority of trial participants report that they would volunteer for another trial if it was relevant to their needs.

To put a smile on your face see Larry's latest cartoon

(c) 2012 Tom Beer and Larry Axmaker

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