The Myths surrounding Cancer Clinical Trials
Anything in the world that is difficult to understand and access elicits a certain amount of fear and anxiety in the human mind. Similarly, the field of Cancer Clinical Trials too has its fair share of Fear Complex associated with it. There are several Myths and Misconceptions surrounding this field, and most of them are based on a false fear of the unknown.
One of the Missions of Oncoshot is to help increase Your Awareness of the World of Cancer Clinical Trials so that you can explore your options more easily.
With this objective in mind, this article attempts to address the fear surrounding the following Myths and Misconceptions about Cancer Clinical Trials.
Myth # 1
Clinical Trial patients are treated as ‘Guinea Pigs’: The phrase ‘Guinea Pig’ is sometimes used by patients as a reason for not pursuing Clinical Trial options. Some patients feel that trial patients are treated as experimental tools that can be exposed to Any Unnecessary Risk from the New Treatment. The phrase may also be used in the context offeeling helpless in the hands of the Researchers. Such a perception can be better clarified for the benefit of patients. It is important to note that experimental treatments in Clinical Trials are adequately investigated for their safety before being tested in Clinical Trials. Initial safety studies are typically conducted in a very small group of patients in the earliest Phase (Phase 1) and strict monitoring guidelines within subsequent phases of research ensure that side effects are acknowledged and appropriately managed by clinical trial investigators. Trial Patients’ Rights are protected as a Top Priority in all Clinical Trials by Regulations from Global Regulatory bodies at all times.
Myth # 2
I will get a Placebo, and my Cancer will worsen: A Placebo is a Pill, Injection or Treatment that has neither any beneficial nor any adverse effect on the Trial patient. Trial Designs called Comparative or Controlled Trials are sometimes used in Phase III Cancer Trials. It is rare for experimental placebo therapies to be conducted in clinical trials and typically only occurs when there is no Standard Treatment available for the particular Cancer type or Stage. In all cases where Standard Treatments are available, the New Treatment is compared with the Standard Treatment. If the Trial Design includes a Placebo, this information must be made available to you in the Informed Consent Form, and you as the patient can choose not to participate if you so decide.
Myth # 3
I will never qualify in the Eligibility Criteria for a Cancer Clinical Trial: There are thousands of ongoing Cancer Clinical Trials at any given point in time, across the World. All these Clinical Trials have different Trial Designs and Objectives of Research. Consequently, all Clinical Trials have different Eligibility Criteria. The current trend in Cancer Research is to make the Eligibility Criteria more inclusive so that a wider section of the Cancer Patient Population can be Eligible for the Trials. So, each Patient has several Cancer Clinical Trial options to explore, and there is a good chance that you will match the Eligibility Criteria of a number of Cancer Clinical Trials. Oncoshot’s profile building feature allows you to find the clinical trials with key eligibility criteria that highly match a specific cancer profile. Patients can easily identify the most relevant trials out of the thousands of ongoing clinical trials using this tool.
Myth # 4
I will get Stuck in the Clinical Trial once I participate: Each Clinical Trial enrolls patients with the intention that the Patients continue throughout the duration of the Trial. And it is beneficial for both the Trial and the Patient that the Patient continues throughout the entire Trial duration. But the Trial Patient also has a Right to Withdraw from the Trial at any point, without having to justify the decision of Withdrawal.
Myth # 5
I won’t receive my Standard Cancer Treatment:Some Cancer Trials include the Standard Treatment as a part of their Treatment Schedule in addition to the New Treatment while others may test potentially more effective New Treatments against Standard Treatment. In all these situations, you will receive either the Standard Treatment or a New Treatment that is being studied for better effectiveness than the Standard Treatment. Your Oncologist and Clinical Trial Investigator will guide you on your available options in the process of counselling you for a clinical trial.
Myth # 6
I was declared Ineligible in one Cancer Trial, so I will be Ineligible for all Trials: All Cancer Clinical Trials are designed differently and address different Cancer patient populations. Accordingly, the Eligibility Criteria for all Clinical Trials are also different. Even if you are Ineligible for one Trial, you can explore thousands of other Clinical Trial options that may have different Eligibility Criteria. Platforms like Oncoshot can help you explore ‘Your Cancer Clinical Trial Options from Oncoshot’, so that you can evaluate your match with their Eligibility Criteria.
Myth # 7
Cancer Clinical Trials are used as a Last Hope when all Treatments fail: Cancer Clinical Trials are of various Phases (1-4) and different designs for different Cancer types and Stages. Some Clinical Trials, particularly in Phase 3, test New Treatments that are believed to have the potential to be more effective than the available Standard Treatments. Trial options can be relevant in the Early or Late part of your Cancer Treatment Process, depending on the type of Clinical Trial and your Cancer case. Oncoshot can help you find ‘Your Cancer Clinical Trial Options from Oncoshot’, relevant to your ongoing Cancer Treatment Process.
Myth # 8
Clinical Trials can interfere with my ongoing Standard Treatment: Cancer Clinical Trials provide the Cancer patients with an opportunity to be treated by New and Advanced Cancer Treatment options, years before they are available as Standard Treatments to Physicians. Appropriate selection of Clinical Trials and Standard Treatments may improve overall Cancer Treatment outcomes. Platforms like Oncoshot help you to Search the Cancer Clinical Trials Matching your Cancer case. You can use ‘Your Cancer Clinical Trial Options from Oncoshot’, to plan a ‘Customized Cancer Treatment Plan’ consisting of Standard Treatment + Clinical Trial options relevant for your case.
Myth # 9
Cancer Clinical Trials are dangerous for Cancer Patients: The field of Cancer Clinical Research has developed and advanced a lot over the last century. The Clinical Trials are designed and conducted in such a way that Cancer Trial Patients are not exposed to any Unnecessary Risk. The New Treatments are also tested adequately in the Laboratory setting and in other Clinical Trials to confirm their Safety and Beneficial Effects before being used in a particular Cancer Trial. Your Oncologist or Clinical Trial Investigator will advise you on the potential risks involved in each trial before counselling and enrolling you into a clinical trial.
Myth # 10
Clinical Trials are merely a Money-making Tool for Big Pharma: The Pharmaceutical Industry uses Clinical Trials to test New Cancer Treatments, which if successful earn money for the Sponsor Company. But over the last few decades, the entire Clinical Research Field is heavily and intensely Regulated by Global Health Authorities like the US FDA, the WHO, the National Regulatory Bodies, etc. These Regulations ensure that the Patients’ Rights (for Safety and Treatment) are Strictly Protected and Not Compromised in any way during the entire Trial Duration.
How Oncoshot Can Help You?
Oncoshot uses an advanced algorithm to match your profile with an extensive and specialized database of Cancer Clinical Trials from across the world. The Search outcomes provide you with a list of highly relevant and meaningful Clinical Trial options to suit your particular Cancer case. Get started now by creating your profile.