Clinical Trials

When I was first diagnosed with breast cancer, I was encouraged by more experienced cancer patients to ask about clinical trials.  As it turned out, I didn’t have to as my oncologist had already found one for me to take part in.  I have always been a fan of participating in studies when possible.  L is in the DAISY study that tracks kids from birth who have one or more gene markers for diabetes so when it was my turn, I knew I wanted to participate.  Still pretty freaked about by the whole “I have breast cancer” thing, it was important to me to know that I would still get the standard of care in case I was in the placebo group.  Once I was assured, I joined the Avastin study for Stage III cancer patients.  For the most part I think my chemo experience has been pretty on par with people who were not on Avastin.  My only side effects were increasingly lengthy nosebleeds.  So Tuesday, the study was unblinded and I did find out I was not in the placebo group and was in fact taking Avastin.  (Not a huge surprise to the doctor and nurses, though I guess there was an office pool and one nurse did lose.  My low blood pressure tricked her.)  I also found out that I’m on the arm of the study that is finished taking the drug.  I can’t tell you how relieved I am of this.  I would absolutely take part in the study if I were to do it all over, but knowing that my last Taxol in two weeks is my last chemo is wonderful.  The nosebleeds were getting scary and I’m ready to enjoy my month off before RadiationLand.

Crossposted on ThrowsLikeAGirl


3 Responses to Clinical Trials

  1. Christina says:

    I didn’t think they could use a placebo group when treating a life=threatening illness such as cancer. Were the different groups just on a different dose of Avastin? Or was it a combination of drugs? In any case, clinical trials are the way to go. If I ever get cancer, i will look for a clinical trial. I’ve worked in research and I am participating in a trial myself. I’m glad it worked well for you.

  2. throwslikeagirl74 says:

    They had a 20 percent placebo group, 40 percent arm b (6 months of Avastin) and 40 percent arm c (12 months of Avastin). The reason they could have a placebo group was because I was still getting everything I would normally get (Adriamycin/Cytoxan and Taxol) if I weren’t on the trial. Avastin was just a bonus. 🙂

  3. imstell says:

    Dang! I wish I knew more when I was doing treatment. No one offered a clinical trial & by the time I knew to ask I was out of the required time frame.

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