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Clinical Trials

Patients with uncommon cancers like myeloma should consider being treated by, or getting a second opinion from, a multiple myeloma specialist to learn about the most up-to-date myeloma research and clinical trial options. This is likely to be at a National Cancer Institute-designated comprehensive cancer center where new drugs with better efficacy and fewer side effects are being designed and tested daily, and where questions about how myeloma cells function and reproduce are studied.    

   

What are clinical trials?

Clinical trials are an important way for medical research to advance as well as to provide new treatment options for patients, especially those who may not be good candidates for conventional treatments.

  Understanding what clinical trials are, and which trials might be appropriate for you can be very confusing. Dr. Craig Hofmeister, a multiple myeloma specialist at The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center — Arthur G. James Cancer Hospital and Richard J. Solove Research Institute, provides the following information about clinical trials:
   
 
     
 
Craig Hofmeister, M.D.
Craig
Hofmeister, M.D.
Simply put, clinical trials are research studies that involve people. While all are encouraged to consider participating in clinical trials, they can be especially meaningful to those who do not respond to standard treatments and are looking for other options.

Clinical trials test new drugs, procedures, treatment combinations, and medical devices to improve the diagnosis of the disease, patients’ responses to treatment, and the quality of life of patients. Trials may also investigate methods for prevention of certain cancers.

Even though these clinical trials are exploring “new” treatments and procedures, they are actually the final step in a long process that begins with lab research and animal testing. All treatments and drugs used today are the result of successful clinical trials conducted in the past.
     
   

 

We encourage you to visit these related links:
Website myelomabeacon.com
Website mymultiplemyeloma.com
Website The Ohio State University Myeloma Clinic
Website Winship Cancer Institute
   
Why clinical trials? Most new medical innovations and drugs for cancer patients come from the U.S., yet few U.S. patients and physicians are involved in research. Limited funding is available for novel cancer research and, even when funding is available, clinical trials frequently cannot accrue enough human participants.  This directly impacts the speed with which new cancer treatments are developed. Recruitment for clinical trials for a less well-known disease like myeloma are particularly challenging as most myeloma patients are treated by community physicians, rather than myeloma specialists who may have more knowledge of, and access to current myeloma research.
 

Patient participation in clinical trials is a crucial step in the creation of new treatments. While the thought of enrolling in a clinical trial may cause anxiety for some, it is important to remember that human participation is only allowed in clinical trials after a lengthy study of the drug or procedure has been done in both the laboratory setting and on animal models. Participation in a clinical trial not only helps connect myeloma patients to new, potentially life-saving treatments, it also furthers knowledge of the disease, thereby bringing us one step closer to finding a cure for myeloma.

How to search
for clinical trials

There are many ways to find myeloma clinical trials. If you are receiving treatment from a myeloma specialist or at a large cancer research center, your first step can be asking your doctor about clinical trials that are currently recruiting participants. Your doctor is familiar with your case and can recommend a clinical trial that will be right for you.

  If you want to search on your own for clinical trial options, there are a number of websites and organizations that can help you find suitable trials based on your stage of myeloma, your location, and treatments that you are interested in trying
 

The United States National Institutes of Health’s website, www.ClinicalTrials.gov, allows you to search by disease or treatment and allows you to refine your search by location, clinical phase, enrollment status, and much more. The entry for each trial also provides information about the purpose of the trial, eligibility criteria, and who is sponsoring and conducting the trial.

 
We encourage you to visit these related links:
Website Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation (MMRF)
Website National Cancer Institute
Website Trial Check
   
   
   
 
 
 
 
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