Dr. Antoinette Wozniak, medical oncologist at Karmanos Cancer Institute and Free to Breathe Board of Directors member, is passionate about furthering lung cancer research through clinical trials. Last December, she led a webinar for Free to Breathe where she debunked several of the most common myths about clinical trials.
COMMON MYTH #1: PATIENTS ON CLINICAL TRIALS ARE TREATED LIKE GUINEA PIGS.
FACT: Patients often report they are treated with respect and the highest degree of care during their clinical trial experience.
Many safeguards are put into place to protect patients involved in trials. They typically receive more frequent and careful medical attention. Plus, treatments cannot make it to standard of care without patients enrolling in trials, so people can feel good about helping to change the future for others diagnosed with lung cancer.
COMMON MYTH #2: I’M GOING TO BE GIVEN A SUGAR PILL (PLACEBO) OR NOT GET ANY TREATMENT AT ALL.
FACT: All patients participating in cancer clinical trials receive the best cancer treatment currently known for their type and stage of cancer.
If placebos are used, patients usually receive them in addition to standard, proven treatments. Placebos may also be used when testing a new treatment for a particular type or stage of disease for which no standard treatments are available, but this is uncommon in cancer clinical trials. If a placebo is to be used in a trial, patients are fully informed.
COMMON MYTH #3: I CAN’T AFFORD TO BE ON A CLINICAL TRIAL.
FACT: Usually, investigational medications are provided to the patient free of charge, and the trial sponsor may cover some other expenses.
In addition, the Affordable Care Act requires health insurance companies to cover routine costs associated with an approved clinical trial. Medicare covers the routine costs related to clinical trials, however, cost coverage through Medicaid varies by state. Always check with the clinical trial research team to talk about what is and isn’t covered.
COMMON MYTH #4: CLINICAL TRIALS ARE ONLY FOR THOSE WHO HAVE NO OTHER OPTIONS.
FACT: No matter where you are in your treatment process, there may be a clinical trial that is right for you.
In fact, many trials are available for people just diagnosed with cancer. A clinical trial may be a patient’s best available treatment option. Be sure to discuss all options for treatment with your physician, and ask if there are clinical trials available to you.
COMMON MYTH #5: ONCE I START A TRIAL, I’M STUCK AND CANNOT BACK OUT.
FACT: A participant may decline to participate at any point of the trial. Involvement in a clinical trial is entirely voluntary.
So, if you were to begin a clinical trial you can stop at any time for any reason and return to the standard treatment.
To learn more about clinical trials and find additional answers to common questions, watch the complete recorded webinar with Dr. Wozniak.
Originally posted at THE TOP 5 MYTHS ABOUT CLINICAL TRIALS