Dr. Mar: Hi, my name is Nataliya Mar. I am an Associate Professor at University of California Irvine, and I specialize in treating genitourinary cancers.
When Should a Patient With Advanced Bladder Cancer Consider a Clinical Trial?
Dr. Mar: Everything that we have has come out of clinical trials and patients have graciously donated their time, so that way we could study new treatments, which eventually became FDA approved. So,I would always recommend considering a clinical trial before any standard of care therapy. There are a couple of reasons why this is important. Number one is that being part of a clinical trial gives you access to new and exciting therapies that might not be otherwise available to you in the community. Also, it provides patients with an extra line of therapy because FDA-approved treatments are always there, they're always available.
Meanwhile, clinical trials are opportunities that are there at that particular moment but may not be there months down the road. So, for that reason, I think that clinical trials are always something that has to be considered first. And if available, and the patient matches to them, then I would recommend that the patient proceed with the clinical trial.I think that the patients should always be proactive, if possible, in terms of looking up the clinical trials that are around them in their geographic area that might be of interest to them. Whether a doctor recommends a clinical trial for you is completely dependent upon the doctor that you have. Some doctors believe that clinical trials should be considered first, and some don't. So, it depends on the relationship that you have with your doctor. I always recommend clinical trials for my patients, if I think that they would match into one, or if we have one available for their stage of the disease. But it's always good to...for the patient to be proactive, so that way the discussion may be more likely and informative.