Health Tips > Prevention Plus > Clinical Trials Offer Hope and Treatment for Cancer Patients

Clinical Trials Offer Hope and Treatment for Cancer Patients

View All Section Pages

Clinical Trials Offer Hope and Treatment for Cancer Patients

Clinical trials are a valuable option to patients who have received a cancer diagnosis. Unfortunately, cancer clinical trials are largely misunderstood by patients. Laura DeFina, MD, President and CEO of The Cooper Institute, addresses common patient concerns. 

‘Guinea Pigs’
Cancer clinical trials are an excellent opportunity for cancer patients to receive additional treatment, increasing their chances of survival. Treatments offered in clinical trials have been through a great deal of trial and testing prior to being given to human patients. Clinical trial patients are receiving the best available treatment for their cancer supplemented by the trial drug or treatment. “If I had cancer, I would definitely choose to be in a clinical trial if given the option,” says Dr. DeFina.

Is receiving the ‘placebo’ bad?
Receiving the ‘placebo’ in a cancer clinical trial doesn’t mean you aren’t receiving treatment. In a ‘worst’ case scenario, a patient in a clinical trial will receive the best standard of care/treatment; in the best case scenario the patient will receive a new drug that may improve the patient’s responses to treatment.

How far do I have to travel?
Many believe clinical trials require extensive travelling. This is dependent upon where the patient lives. Patients living in Dallas and surrounding areas have access to numerous clinical trials from UT Southwestern Medical Center, which has received national recognition for cancer treatment. In some cases, patients are required (or prefer) to travel to be near the trial physicians and medical team. In other cases, patients may choose to participate in the clinical trial under the supervision of his or her own doctor.

The cost of a clinical trial depends on the patient’s insurance company. In general, many clinical trials are covered by insurance. If you are considering participating in a clinical trial, ask about your insurance coverage before you make your decision to begin the trial.

This isn’t your last resort. 
For patients in clinical trials, their cancer treatment is under careful watch of a team of medical professionals. These patients are followed so closely—every lab and every treatment—that the clinical trial provides the patient an increased scrutiny to their care and assurance the patient is receiving everything needed to fight his or her cancer. Whether your diagnosis is recent, or if previous treatments have not been effective, clinical trials should not be viewed as a last resort, but as an option to increase level of care and treatment.

Most importantly, Dr. DeFina emphasizes that if you have cancer, take the time to educate yourself on your disease. Don’t let the fear of your diagnosis prevent you from being an engaged and active consumer with your doctor. When you do your research, you can rest assured that you are getting the best standard of care and that you are aware of all the treatment options available to you.

If you have received a cancer diagnosis, ask your doctor about clinical trials. Most physicians are aware of existing clinical trials, but even if your doctor is not, you can do your own research through the National Institute of Health or National Cancer Institute to find potential clinical trials.

Cooper Clinic is focused on the prevention of cancer and other health issues. In order to prevent the diagnosis of higher stage cancers, continue to receive the recommended routine screenings for breast, colon and prostate cancers. To learn more about the preventive exam at Cooper Clinic, click here or call 866.906.2667 (COOP).  

Article provided by Cooper Aerobics Marketing and Communications.