Participating in a clinical trial for a serious illness such as lung cancer is usually the last resort for many patients--only considered because treatments have failed to halt the progress of their disease.
Lung cancer is still the number one cause of cancer deaths in the United States (US). According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
(CDC), lung cancer claimed the lives of 157,423 people in the US in 2012. Furthermore, the 1-year survival rate
is 44% and the 5-year survival is only 17%. For many people, participating in a clinical trial is their only hope.
Currently, less than 5% of American adults with cancer participate in clinical trials. Interestingly, more than 60% of US children with cancer do participate in trials. There are many reasons why someone might not participate in a study, ranging from not having access or high out-of-pocket expenses, to the inability to travel; however, there are people who would like to be considered for a study – but trying to find an appropriate clinical trial can be a daunting process.
LUNGevity, a nonprofit organization that focuses on accelerating lung cancer research, has launched a new initiative to help patients learn about clinical trials, the location of the trial, and if they meet the qualifications necessary to participate.
LUNGevity has collaborated with Lilly Oncology to develop an online tool that streamlines the process and eases navigation of clinical trial searches.
The new comprehensive section on their site, called the Clinical Trial Finder, answers questions about clinical trials from beginning to end. The site also provides contact information to partners, such as EmergingMed, a clinical trial matching service, as well as other organizations such as the National Cancer Institute and the Lung Cancer Master Protocol (Lung-MAP). There is also a downloadable PDF that summarizes the information found in that section.
“Scientists are conducting more lung cancer clinical trials than ever before, which creates challenges for patients who must sift through a high volume of information that is often difficult to understand in order to find the right opportunities for them,” said the President of LUNGevity, Andrea Ferris, in a media release. “LUNGevity’s top priorities are to support patients and advance life-changing research. One of the best ways for us to do that is to direct patients to the trials for which they qualify.”
Do you help your cancer patients navigate the complicated clinical trial process?