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What You Need to Know About Clinical Trial Participation

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Published on March 12, 2018

What’s the first step for prostate cancer patients considering a clinical trial? Noted expert, Dr. Celestia Higano from Seattle Cancer Care Alliance, shares what patients should know before choosing this route for treatment and walks through the process of getting access to clinical trials. Watch now to find out where to go to get informed about trials that are suitable for you.

This is a Patient Empowerment Network program produced by Patient Power in partnership with Seattle Cancer Care Alliance. We thank Astellas and Sanofi for their support.

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Transcript | What You Need to Know About Clinical Trial Participation

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. 

Jeff Folloder:

When should a patient consider participating in a clinical trial? This is going to be for our three medical professionals here because it’s important for a patient to know, “How do I get access and why should I get access to a clinical trial?”

Dr. Higano:          

Right. Well, the clinical trials that are available through your own doctor’s institution are where you probably would want to start just because it’s the most convenient. 

Your doctor should talk to you about what’s available. If it turns out that you’re not at an institution that has clinical trials, you can ask your doctor to refer you or can do some homework yourself. A lot of people like to use clinicaltrials.gov, which all clinical trials now have to be listed on that government website.

Jeff Folloder:     

And, that’s clinicaltrials.gov.

Dr. Higano:          

Correct. Now, they’re trying to make that website a bit easier to navigate for laypeople. It’s even sometimes challenging for us, but that way, you won’t miss anything, if you will. And the other thing is I think a lot of patients are able to talk about these things sometimes through the context of their support group, or other fora, or places like Patient Power. 

So, I think that clinical trials can be appropriate for many stages of prostate cancer. It just depends, and it’s very important for you as the patient to understand what is the standard of care for your situation, and have you already gone through that, or are you willing to not go that route for whatever reason?

And, actually, Tom has written a book about clinical trials, so he can also answer this a lot better than I can, but we’ve both been involved, for example, in the development of enzalutamide, or Xtandi, and we probably both have patients who have been on what was then an investigational drug—it had never even been put in a human before. We still have patients who are on that and alive, X number of years later—similar to your situation—after signing up for a clinical trial.

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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