Understanding what a clinical trial is may help a cancer patient decide if a clinical trial might be an option. Joining us tonight on House Call is Sabrina Loudin, RN, clinical trials nurse at United Hospital Center.
1). Speaking of clinical trials, why don’t you explain what a clinical trial is?
Clinical trials are research studies that involve people. Through clinical trials, doctors find new ways to improve treatments and the quality of life for people with a disease such as cancer.
Researchers design cancer clinical trials to test new ways to:
· Treat cancer
· Find and diagnose cancer
· Prevent cancer
· Manage symptoms of cancer and side effects from its treatment
Clinical trials are the final step in a long process that begins with research in a lab. Before any new treatment is used with people in clinical trials, researchers work for many years to understand its effects on cancer cells in the lab and in animals. They also try to figure out the side effects it may cause.
Any time you or a loved one needs treatment for cancer, clinical trials are an option to think about. Trials are available for all stages of cancer. It is a myth that they are only for people who have advanced cancer that is not responding to treatment.
2). What questions should you ask your doctor if you are considering to participate in a clinical trial?
If you are thinking about taking part in a clinical trial, be sure to ask your doctor, “Is there a clinical trial that I can join?” If your doctor offers you a trial, here are some questions you may want to ask, the complete list is available at wdtv.com when you search for House Call. (Only highlight approximately the five most important; however, list all of these on the website).
Questions about the Trial
· What is the purpose of the trial?
· Why do the researchers believe that the treatment being studied may be better than the one being used now? Why may it not be better?
· How long will I be in the trial?
· What kinds of tests and treatments are involved?
· How will the doctor know if the treatment is working?
· How will I be told about the trial’s results?
· How long do I have to make up my mind about joining this trial?
· Who can I speak with about questions I have during and after the trial?
· Who will be in charge of my care?
· Is there someone I can talk to who has been in the trial?
· Can I quit the trial at any time?
Questions about Risks and Benefits
· What are the possible side effects or risks of the new treatment?
· What are the possible benefits?
· How do the possible risks and benefits of this trial compare to those of the standard treatment?
Questions about Your Rights
· How will my health information be kept private?
· What happens if I decide to leave the trial?
Questions about Costs
· Will I have to pay for any of the treatments or tests?
· What costs will my health insurance cover?
· Who pays if I’m injured in the trial?
· Who can help answer any questions from my insurance company?
Questions about Daily Life
· How could the trial affect my daily life?
· How often will I have to come to the hospital or clinic?
· Will I have to stay in the hospital during the clinical trial? If so, how often and for how long?
· Will I have to travel long distances?
· Will I have check-ups after the trial?
Questions about Comparing Choices
· What are my other treatment choices, including standard treatments?
· How does the treatment I would receive in this trial compare with the other treatment choices?
· What will happen to my cancer without treatment?
3). How safe are clinical trials?
Clinical trial participants are a vital part of cancer research and there are federal rules in place to help ensure the safety and ethics of clinical trials.
Research is continuously reviewed by the IRB which is not directly involved with the research and primary focus is to ensure we are following all guidelines and safety rules.
(Anchor) Sabrina, thank you for providing us with this important and informative interview on clinical trials. That is all for House Call this week; however, if you would like more information concerning this clinical trials, make sure you go to WDTV.com for the web extra bonus question. That is where Sabrina will provide us with information on clinical trials available at UHC. There is more 5 News to come on the broadcast this evening. Stay with us.
4). What clinical trials are available at UHC?
UHC currently has treatment and not treatment clinical trials available.
For Non-treatment trails, we have a Cancer Center Registry Survey that can be completed in the convenience of your home online. This is for patients diagnosed with cancer and their family members/caregivers.
We currently have trials open for Triple Negative Breast Cancer as well as ER/PR positive breast cancer. And we are excited to be opening a new trial very soon focused on HER2 positive metastatic cancer treatment.
We also have Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer trial open, where we can screen those diagnosed with NSCLC – adenocarcinoma, to
see if they have a specific marker in their cancer to receive a targeted therapy. We currently have one Colon/rectal cancer trial open.
If you are interested in a trial then you can speak with your oncologist or ask to speak with me. If we do not have a trial available for you at our facility then we can search other hospitals and make a referral for you.