Looking for a Clinical Trial? New Clinical Trial Finders Will Help

by Jane Ashley

Most late-stage cancer patients hear this advice, “You might want to consider a clinical trial.” A number of Stage IV patients think ahead to have a plan in place in the event that a second line chemo isn’t effective. Your oncologist may even tell you that you need to contemplate a clinical trial.

Looking For A Clinical Trial

Knowing in advance what your options are in the event of second-line treatment failure will help you avoid stress if you get bad news.

Before you begin searching, you need to produce a one-page summary of the treatments that you’ve had. There are inclusion eligibility requirements for every trial along with exclusion factors.

Chemotherapy, what kind and how many cycles
Radiation, what kind
Surgical History
Genetic Mutations
Any other cancer history
Any other significant health problems

Get to know more about clinical trials from The American Cancer Society.

Acs Logo

Where does a patient begin? There are 268,018 clinical trials in all 50 states and 203 countries, according to the U.S. National Library of Medicine.

Their website, ClinicalTrials.gov, is a comprehensive database of public-and-private-funded medical trials. Information about each trial includes the kind of cancer, intervention/treatment, which phase, the objectives, how many patients are being recruited, the start and end dates, locations and eligibility requirements. When you first see all of this information, you may be overwhelmed. Every clinical trial is presented in the same format.

CenterWatch.com’s website is a single source for both patients and healthcare professionals. It offers an easy search feature on the home page to search by kind of cancer and location.

Center Watch

The good news is that there are trial finders now for different kinds of cancer. The major cancer centers post their clinical trials on their websites. Drug manufacturers post their upcoming clinical trials too. iTunes has 107 clinical trial finder apps, coming from diverse sources like the Cleveland Clinic and Eli-Lily.

Here are some examples of the clinical trial finders available to patients.

Breast. Clinical trial finder for those with metastatic breast cancer.

Lung. Lungevity.org offers a clinical trial finder by types of lung cancer and location.

Prostate. The Prostate Cancer Foundation offers a useful clinical trial overview.

Colorectal. Fight Colorectal Cancer partnered with Dr. Tom Marsilje, a cancer researcher, and Stage IV colon cancer patient, to present a specially curated clinical trial finder, the Late Stage MSS-CRC Trial Finder. This finder doesn’t present all of the colorectal clinical trials available but rather presents the ones with the least downside and the most potential long-term benefit.

Melanoma. The Melanoma Research Foundation has an easy to use finder that is location-based.

Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma/Leukemia/Multiple Myeloma. The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society offers a free consultation with an LLS Clinical Trial Specialist whose expertise is blood cancers. They can help you decide if a trial is right for you, understand your financial obligations, help you with the enrollment and provide you support during the clinical trial.

Kidney. CenterWatch offers a clinical trial finder for renal cell carcinoma. Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center is leading 22 clinical trials for kidney cancer.

Head/Neck/Throat. Johns Hopkins Medicine is conducting a number of clinical trials for head and neck cancer.

Many patients feel more confident and better prepared for tomorrow if they have a contingency plan in mind in the event that a second line chemo does not produce the expected results.

To learn more about the advantages volunteering for a clinical trial offer, CenterWatch provides most of the information that you need to decide if the time is right for you and your family to consider a clinical trial.

Patient Advocate Foundation provides case managers to help screen potential patients for clinical trials. Their free booklet – Lighting the Way: A Practical Guide to Clinical Trials – is a valuable resource for cancer patients.

Do you have experience with clinical trials? If so, comment below with any tips that might help others as they try to navigate through finding their own. 

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