Why clinical trials for cancer are an excellent way to access leading-edge treatment
“Should I participate in a clinical trial for cancer treatment?”
I hear this question from most of the patients we work with, at one point or another, during their cancer care.
It’s so essential that you are familiar with clinical trials and how they can help you!
Clinical trials have been truly life-saving for many of our patients…
By allowing them to access the exact right, leading-edge drug for their cancer, in a timely manner – and, for free! 🙌
There is one key thing that will make or break your success with clinical trials:
You must know which clinical trial is right for you!
That’s why our cancer expert, Alex Rolland, and I made this video to explain more…
What does our cancer expert, Alex Rolland, say about clinical trials for cancer?
As Alex says, there are a few main things to consider:
1. Ideally you want to be on an “open-label” trial. This is where the patients know exactly which treatment is being given to them.
2. You also probably want to go for a later-stage trial – say, a Phase 3 trial as opposed to a Phase 1 or 2 trial. Doing a later-stage trial means that you’ll already be able to see the results from previous phases…so you have more data, which is always a good thing. Though Alex does mention that early trials can still produce excellent results.
So, just be aware of what your options are and make the best choice with what’s available for you.
But the MOST important thing is…
3. You need to make sure that you have the molecular feature that the trial drug is targeting! Otherwise, doing the clinical trial will most likely be a waste of your time…and not get you any closer to beating cancer.
Which brings up the question…
How do you find out which molecular features are involved in your cancer?
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it for the rest of my days…
You need to get comprehensive genetic testing!
What does “comprehensive genetic testing” mean?
Standard care in Canada, as of right now, does not offer patients comprehensive genetic testing.
Sure, your oncologist may offer you a small genetic panel that looks at 2 or 3 genetic mutations related to the type of cancer that they think you may have.
But this is NOT enough. Not by a loooong shot.
When I say comprehensive genetic testing, I mean getting a full genetic panel that looks at at least ~ 500 genetic mutations!
Just as importantly, the results must be analyzed by an oncogenomics expert with plenty of experience. Like our cancer expert, Alex Rolland!
We’ve had patients come to us, time and again, saying that they’ve already had genetic testing and their oncologist didn’t find anything useful. And that they’ve been told they have no more treatment options…
Then we help those same patients to get comprehensive genetic testing, and have their results analyzed by Alex – who has 30+ years in cancer research & genomics – and voila!
Alex is almost always able to find numerous excellent targeted therapy options for them. Even when their oncologist said there was nothing left for them.
And then, with our advocacy service, we connect these patients with the exact right clinical trial to access those targeted therapies!
Life-saving stuff, right there…
To sum it up:
This is why, yes, you should always consider clinical trials as an excellent option for your cancer care…
And you must also do comprehensive genetic testing as a first step – so that you can find the exact right clinical trial for you!
Simple as that.
In the coming weeks, I’ll be sharing a lot more on clinical trials to make sure that you are fully empowered to make the best choices for yourself and your cancer care!
We’re also very excited to share that we are teaming up with a wonderful organization, Heal Mary, that helps connect cancer patients with clinical trials – for free! Stay tuned for more info, plus an interview with the founder of Heal Mary, to learn how you can take advantage of this.on August 4, 2021
Tags: Cancer Research, Clinical Trials, Genetic Testing, Knowledge is Power, Precision Oncology, Targeted Treatment, Treatment Monitoring, Tumour DNA Sequencing
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