Phil Zeblisky, Survivor
1 – Clinical trials offer access to the best and brightest in the research and oncology community and hence if there is a need to do follow-up treatment, they are up to date as to what works best.
2 – Clinical trials often offer access to Nurse Navigators and other individuals that assist patients in compliance with the protocols and with follow-up and understanding of their treatments. This infrastructure may not be available in a standard oncology practice.
3 – The data gathering objective of a trial is consistent with making sure that the participant is complying with the treatment. The fact that the study needs to get reliable data will also result in greater assessment of other drugs that the person is taking hence preventing contra-indicated additional drugs in a person’s regimen
4 – The centers that do clinical trials also generally tend to have more integrative and supportive services than standard oncology practices.
Well Now There is A Study That Support My BeliefsRead The Study Here: “Analysis Shows Pancreatic Survival Rates Lower in Real World Than Clinical Trials“. The authors looked at 27 studies involving all Stages of Pancreatic Cancer. The results of those studies were compared to the SEER Registry results for patients treating in standard (non-clinical trial ) settings. The research found that:
> There was a 32% increase in median survival of participants in clinical trials versus standard setting patients in those studies that involve metastatic/locally advanced cancer
> There was a 41% increase in median survival of participants in clinical trials versus standard setting patients in those studies that involved unresectable locally advanced disease
> There was a 36% increase in median survival of participants in clinical trials versus standard setting patients in those studies that involved resectable disease.
> Almost 100% of all the randomized trials had a survival outcome that were better than those outcomes seen in the SEER registry.
The article did acknowledge that some of this result might be due to the fact that study patients are sometimes more healthy, more affluent and more educated than standard care patients but it goes on to talk about the other benefits of clinical trials that I outlined above.
Finally some non-anecdotal evidence that a clinical trial is not just a viable option but it is an option that has shown superior results for almost all clinical trial participants. I have often wondered why even the most sophisticated of presenters on clinical trials have not used the differences that I noted above in “selling” clinical trials.