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Are There Specific Blood Tests Used in Clinical Trials?

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Published on May 15, 2017

Are there specific blood tests used in clinical trials? And what terms might be heard frequently throughout a clinical trial? Patient Power Host Dr. Susan Leclair explains how clinical trials work to look at a participant's overall health and the blood testing used, as well as the possibility of genetic testing in a clinical trial. Dr. Leclair is a Patient Power host and retired chancellor professor from the Department of Medical Laboratory Science at the University of Massachusetts, Dartmouth.

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Transcript |

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.

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.

Question:

I’ve been diagnosed with lung cancer, and I’m considering a clinical trial. Are there specific blood test used in clinical trials? What terms might we hear frequently?

Dr. Leclair:

All clinical trials are concerned about your general health in addition to whatever the specific disease is. So the general health questions, everybody’s got them, will be tests for your complete blood count. Are you anemic? Are you capable of responding effectively to infections? Are you going to bleed? Those are going to be important things regardless of what clinical trial you are in.

The complete metabolic panel would be another one. Most drugs are either modified by the liver or excreted by the kidneys, so every physician that’s involved in a clinical trial is gonna wanna know what should be when? What’s your creatinine? How is your kidney functioning? What is your liver function assets, and how is that handling the stress?

So in the instance of all clinical trials, the CBC and the metabolic panels will be used, they will be used frequently, and they will be important. Then what’s gonna happen, particularly in this day and age, we’re looking at drugs that are directed specifically against an antigen or a gene that’s found in that particular malignancy. So that means you’re going to have to deal with genetic testing, flow cytometry, or PCRs. And those will be different for everyone.

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.