What Are the Benefits of Participating in a Cancer Clinical Trial?

Joyce Schaffer talks about the benefits of participating in a cancer clinical trial

radiation therapy for colon cancerThe benefit of going on a clinical trial is that yes you are often getting a higher level of care than at a regular oncologist, because physicians are watching you very closely.

You are also helping gather data for this specific molecule, which is very help and helps to extend people’s lives. In Joyce’s opinion, clinical trials have performed some miracles for patients. Some people have gone to their own oncologist and because their oncologist is not aware of the studies that are available or what cutting-edge drugs are available to patients, some patients have been unfortunately told go home and put their affairs in order. It doesn’t necessarily have to be that way.

For more, watch Joyce Schaffer in this video.

Video Transcript:

Joyce Schaffer:  The benefit of going on a clinical trial is that yes you are in the clinical trial, you are helping us gather data for this specific molecule, but we are actually able to extend people’s lives.  In my opinion, we have performed some miracles for patients.  Some people have gone to their own oncologist and because their oncologist is not aware of the studies that we have or what cutting-edge drugs are available to patients, some patients have been unfortunately told go home and put your fears in order.  I am sorry I don’t know what I can do for you. 

We have the opportunity to treat these patients here in our clinic at the Virginia G. Piper Cancer Center and we have extended people’s lives from months to years.  I know one individual that he had a basal cell carcinoma which is usually a benign skin cancer.  He came here on the clinical trial because his benign skin cancer actually was advanced.  It went metastatic.  It went to its internal organs to his bones and there was no cure for him.  It was one of those rare cancers where there was no standard of care.  We put him on a clinical trail and we extended his life up to three years passed when he came here.  He came here in a wheelchair with supplemental oxygen, on a lot of pain medications, and a month after we put him on treatment he walked out of here.  He was walking out of here with no supplemental oxygen and he was off of his all pain medications. 

Now, not every patient is like that, but for Jerry that was a very unique and wonderful situation and because of Jerry participating in a clinical trial, we actually found the cure for basal cell carcinoma, that’s huge, that’s huge.


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