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June 23, 2015

Sometimes the Best Arguments in Support of Clinical Research Come from the Patients Themselves

Please take a look at an op-ed, Clinical Trials Need Cancer Patients, which ran in the New York Times over the weekend. It describes the remarkable perspective of a man with a Merkel cell tumor and his commitment to clinical investigation and his journey through the decision making process. 

I hope your patients and friends noticed this editorial. It is well written and insightful. We need more patients to understand clinical trials and we need better ways to describe the benefits and risks of doing so.

Let me quote just one portion: "Clinical trials are the way promising new drugs are tested and progress against cancer is made. The paucity of participants also significantly increases the time it takes for new medications and treatments to be approved because the trials take so much longer to complete. And that means that many people who would benefit from these drugs won't get them in time."

And this from a patient with an interest who took the time to figure out the issues and to champion the cause.

He recognizes that clinical trials are the necessary approach to advance treatment options for patients, and that more patients should partake.