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CLL Patients Discuss Clinical Trial 20 Years Later

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Published on March 23, 2020

Key Takeaways

When CLL patient advocate Nick Bohas and Patient Power Co-Founder Andrew Schorr recently met for the first time in Austin, Texas, they discovered they have something in common. More than 20 years ago, Nick and Andrew participated in the same clinical trial at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center

It was a Phase II clinical trial for untreated CLL patients, and led to long remissions for both Nick and Andrew. Watch now as they discuss their experience and provide advice for others who may be considering clinical trials. 

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Transcript | CLL Patients Discuss Clinical Trial 20 Years Later

Please remember the opinions expressed on Patient Power are not necessarily the views of our sponsors, contributors, partners or Patient Power. Our discussions are not a substitute for seeking medical advice or care from your own doctor. That’s how you’ll get care that’s most appropriate for you.

Andrew Schorr:         

Andrew Schorr here in Austin, Texas. I want you to meet someone. Little background—in August of 1999, I was in a Phase II trial at MD Anderson Cancer Center for fludarabine (Fludara), cyclophosphamide (Cytoxan) and rituximab (Rituxan) for chronic lymphocytic leukemia. August 1999 to January, February 2000. Nick Bohas from Austin, Texas, where were you?

Nick Bohas:                

Same place you were, Andrew. I was in MD Anderson from August of 1999 through January 17, 2000.

Andrew Schorr:         

Same clinical trial?

Nick Bohas:                

Same trial, exactly. 

Andrew Schorr:

Ships passing in the night. Okay. What happened to me is I had a 17-year remission from that novel combination. What’s happened with you? 

Nick Bohas:                

I’ve been fortunate, I’m going on 20 years, and hopefully this will continue.

Andrew Schorr:         

Yep, amen. So, here’s the thing, folks, we’re all brothers and sisters in these clinical trials. Results may vary, as they say on TV commercials, but I got a longer remission than anybody’d ever had. He continues to have a longer, longer remission than anybody’s ever had. Are you glad you were in a trial? I know that you…

Nick Bohas:                

…absolutely. I was extremely glad. I was treated very well. They gave me a lot of hope. I can’t thank that team enough. 

Andrew Schorr:         

What would you say to people about considering trials and asking about them? 

Nick Bohas:                

Absolutely. Ask your questions. Ask your doctor. Ask the doctor or the team conducting the trial. Ask your questions, get comfortable, and if it suits what you think you want to know, take it. By all means, take it. 

Andrew Schorr:         

And we were what they called previously untreated patients, so this was a big decision, right off the bat, go into a trial, I even spoke to other patients who were already in the trial, on the Internet and then on the phone, and it gave me the confidence to proceed. And it was life-saving for me. 

Nick Bohas:                

And for me.

Andrew Schorr:

Okay. Nick Bohas, thank you, buddy.

Nick Bohas:                

Thank you, Andrew.

Andrew Schorr:         

Thank you.

Nick Bohas:                

My pleasure. 

Andrew Schorr:         

And I’m so glad you’re doing well. Please consider clinical trials and know that you’re not alone, that we’re all in it together. 

Nick Bohas:                

Absolutely.

Andrew Schorr:         

Andrew and Nick in Austin, Texas, saying, “Remember, knowledge can be the best medicine of all.”

Please remember the opinions expressed on Patient Power are not necessarily the views of our sponsors, contributors, partners or Patient Power. Our discussions are not a substitute for seeking medical advice or care from your own doctor. That’s how you’ll get care that’s most appropriate for you.

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