Who might benefit from a clinical trial for an experimental cancer treatment?
A common misperception is that such trials are strictly for patients who have reached the end of the road and have no more hope of being helped by standard treatments.
“But it’s not last-ditch,” said Dina G. Lansey, the assistant director for diversity and inclusion in clinical research at the Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center. New forms of immunotherapy are being tested in many types of cancer, and not just at late stages.
Doctors should head off the misunderstanding by routinely mentioning clinical trials early in a patient’s care as a possible future option, Ms. Lansey said. That way, patients may be less likely to believe it is being sprung on them because hope has run out.
“It’s less scary if you hear it early on,” she said.
But patients themselves are often the ones who seek out clinical trials, rather than waiting for doctors to refer them.
There are various ways to find clinical trials. ...