How Do I Navigate Clinical Trials That Are Right for Me?

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Topics include: Treatment and Understanding

Many patients who are actively looking for other treatment options can feel overwhelmed by the number of clinical trials that are available worldwide. Which trial is the best for you? How can patients be confident in their choice to participate in one versus another? Tricia Holtz, a clinical trials navigator at Emerging Med, discusses how her healthcare team can guide the decision-making process and find suitable trials based on a patient’s unique condition, including diagnosis, stage, treatment history and location.

The Clinical Trial MythBusters series is a Patient Empowerment Network program produced by Patient Power. We thank Astellas, Amgen and AbbVie for their support.

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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. 

Andrew Schorr:

So, Tricia, just in my own condition, the first one, chronic lymphocytic leukemia, you used to get an oral medicine years ago, an oral chemo, it wasn’t great, and then they came up with some other chemos and combined them. And then they started having monoclonal antibodies, and then we got a rush of oral therapies, and now oral therapy A with oral therapy B with maybe infused monoclonal antibodies, it got so complex. So somebody calls you and says, “Oh, my God. I went on clinicaltrials.gov, and it came up with all—I don’t know how to.” How do you help people sort that out? 

Tricia Holtz:       

That is all exactly what I hear on a daily basis, everything that you just said. So, what I’m able to do—many patients, like you said, may look on clinicaltrials.gov. They’re seeing thousands and thousands of trials and trying to figure out, okay, what might be the most viable option for me? So, my goal as a navigator is to narrow those options down to the most viable options for the patient, in terms of what trials first fit their specific diagnosis, stage, treatment history.

And patient voice, that you were speaking about a moment ago, I definitely try to incorporate that into the search ago, so is there a certain location that we should be mindful of? Does the patient want to target—they may be more educated on certain trials—do they want to target a specific type of treatment modality or drug? I can help them do that.

And then, really, our goal is then to arm them with the information to then take that to their healthcare team, and be able to have that educated discussion about what the most viable option for them may be, so essentially taking thousands down to hopefully what is a manageable, kind of bite-size bit, if you will.

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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Page last updated on October 11, 2017