SEBASTOPOL, CA--Far too few people with cancer consider clinical trials
when making treatment decisions. This is a shame because experimental
treatments offer real hope to the 1.2 million Americans newly diagnosed
According to the National Cancer Institute, fewer than 5 percent of people
with cancer take part in trials. The lower the participation rate, the
longer it takes for new and better treatments to become generally available.
Cancer Clinical Trials:
Experimental Treatments & How They Can Help You by Robert Finn
(O'Reilly & Associates/Patient-Centered Guides, September 1999) teaches
people with cancer, and their families how to find and evaluate clinical
trials and how to decide whether to participate in them. Participation in
clinical trials offers the individual patient access to new and promising
treatments and an enhanced level of medical care.
Robert Bazell, Chief Science Correspondent for NBC News and author of the
best-selling Her-2: The Making of Herceptin, a Revolutionary Treatment
for Breast Cancer has written the foreword to Cancer Clinical
Trials. The book includes:
There are many reasons why participation rates in clinical trials are so
low. Some people recall the horrific Nazi medical experiments or the
shameful Tuskegee experiment in which 400 African American men with
syphilis were left untreated for decades-even after a cure for syphilis
became available--so that scientists could study the natural course of
this disease. The truth is because these events took place, there is now
far more stringent federal control of clinical trials.
- How to use the Internet and resources to find clinical trials
- Reasons to decide in favor of or against a trial
- Structure, administration and ethical guidelines of clinical trials
- Who is included and excluded from joining a trial
- How to read the informed consent document & trial protocol (a lengthy,
technical document that contains the scientific details of the clinical trial)
- Interviews with researchers and patients
- A script of hard questions to ask yourself and your doctor
Many doctors, due to their distaste for clinical trials or reluctance to
refer patients to other institutions, among other reasons, often don't
discuss experimental treatments with their cancer patients.
Trials is the only guidebook to offer well-researched information
so patients can evaluate all the options available to them.
About the Author
Robert Finn is a science and medical journalist who has written hundreds
of articles for dozens of publications, including Discover, Men's
Fitness, the Los Angeles Times, and The Scientist. Although
he has written about practically all areas of science, he specializes in
biomedicine and in science policy and has interviewed close to 1,000
scientists, physicians, and other experts during his career. Robert Finn
also conducts nationwide workshops based on the book and is now working
on a book on organ transplants due out in early 2000.
Trials: Experimental Treatments & How They Can Help You
by Robert Finn
$14.95, 216 pages, paperback
PUBLICATION DATE: September 1999
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