Cancer Education Center

Welcome to the Slaggie Family Cancer Education Center page. Our goal is to empower patients and their supporters to become active partners in their health care by providing relevant information, increasing knowledge and learning from one another’s experiences. Follow the Cancer Education Center page and stay up-to-date as we post accurate and timely cancer-related information on topics such as cancer prevention, risks, treatments, clinical trials, end-of-life care, and survivorship. No matter where you are in your journey, we are here to help.

PUBLIC PAGE
Wed, Feb 5 8:37am

Is a Clinical Trial Right for Me?

By Megan Roessler M. Ed., @meganroessler

shutterstock_700277188Article contributed by Mayo Staff Brianne Hamann, M.H.A., R.N., CCRN

Many patients are offered participation in a clinical trial as an option for treatment either at the time of cancer diagnosis, or after one or more lines of treatment.   With so much information to consider, what should you be aware of before enrolling?

Clinical Trials offer treatments which consist of entirely new drugs, a mixture of new and standard of care drugs, new procedures, or combinations of both.  While some trials involve promising new treatments designed to combat your cancer directly, others are developed to help researchers learn how treatments may benefit future patients.  These are different than standard of care treatments which are accepted by oncology providers as the best practice for fighting a particular type of cancer.

If your provider believes a clinical trial may be right for you, they must first obtain your informed consent.  This document explains your rights as a participant, potential risks and benefits, and trial logistics.

It is important to ask –

  • What testing will be required? Many trials require extra labs, scans, or other diagnostic tests.
  • Where will you receive treatment? Most trials require you to receive medications and testing at Mayo Clinic.
  • What appointment schedule will you be following? Many trials require that you receive your treatment on specific days of the week.
  • What treatments costs will be covered by the trial? Some trials will cover the cost of all treatment and testing, while others do not.

Participation in clinical trial requires that you meet specific eligibility criteria determined by the trial sponsor.  Sponsors can be Mayo Clinic researchers, medical industries such as pharmaceutical companies, or government funded.   After consent, you will be screened to determine if you meet these criteria.

During treatment you will be monitored closely by a team of Mayo Clinic staff.  Your provider will assess you for improvement in your cancer as well as any side effects.  Your nurse will educate you on how to manage your cancer symptoms and side effects of treatment.   The clinical research coordinator will perform focused assessments in accordance with the trial protocol, keep you apprised of the schedule, and communicate with the trial sponsor.

If you do decide a trial is right for you, it is important to know that you may withdrawal at any point without any impact on the quality of your care.  You will want to discuss alternative treatment options with your provider at that time.  Learn more about clinical trials at Mayo Clinic.

Being a lifelong resident of Rochester and Mayo patient since birth, I have participated in many clinical trials including samples for biobanks. I have found that the study coordinators have been extremely helpful in explaining the studies and my options. And like Brianne Hamann says at end of her article, you can decline or withdraw from a study at any time.

After my diagnosis of breast cancer, I was asked to participate in many new studies. Everything from testing new ultrasound devices to evaluating current medications used in treatment of cancer.

Only negative part was I received calls about clinic trials only days after receiving the diagnosis. I was dealing with multiple decision and to have the clinical studies added to mix was somewhat overwhelming.

Even though some of the research does not benefit me today, I hope that participating may help future generations.

Laurie

COMMENT
@roch

Being a lifelong resident of Rochester and Mayo patient since birth, I have participated in many clinical trials including samples for biobanks. I have found that the study coordinators have been extremely helpful in explaining the studies and my options. And like Brianne Hamann says at end of her article, you can decline or withdraw from a study at any time.

After my diagnosis of breast cancer, I was asked to participate in many new studies. Everything from testing new ultrasound devices to evaluating current medications used in treatment of cancer.

Only negative part was I received calls about clinic trials only days after receiving the diagnosis. I was dealing with multiple decision and to have the clinical studies added to mix was somewhat overwhelming.

Even though some of the research does not benefit me today, I hope that participating may help future generations.

Laurie

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Hi Laurie. I hope you are in complete remission with your breast cancer. Thank you for participating in clinical trials. Yes, you may not benefit now but future cancer patients will be exposed to new drugs and new techniques because of you. You may be saving some lives! Although I live half way across the globe from Rochester, I participate in clinicals by shipping blood samples to Mayo every month. I am in remission from late stage ovarian cancer. And, I love your dog!

Liked by odette

COMMENT
@starko

Hi Laurie. I hope you are in complete remission with your breast cancer. Thank you for participating in clinical trials. Yes, you may not benefit now but future cancer patients will be exposed to new drugs and new techniques because of you. You may be saving some lives! Although I live half way across the globe from Rochester, I participate in clinicals by shipping blood samples to Mayo every month. I am in remission from late stage ovarian cancer. And, I love your dog!

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Who do I contact to find out if there are clinical trials for my diagnosis

COMMENT

Thank you so much.

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