Clinical Trials: Special Stage IV Search Engine, a great book and more

 

Are you looking for a metastatic breast cancer clinical trial? A new search engine makes it easy to quickly identify trials appropriate to your situation. The Metastatic Trial Search , powered by BreastCancerTrials.org, also translates the trial descriptions into plain English.

Although I am not currently looking for a trial, I was curious to see what a search would yield. I filled out the required engine fields (only five). The results returned 180 possibilities. I quickly scanned through the listings–and I found a couple I will keep on my radar. Why not take a look? Just click here: Metastatic Trial Search

Another valuable resource is this book, Cancer Clinical Trials by Tomasz M. Beer, M.D.  and Larry W. Axmaker, Ed.D. I found this 160-page soft cover book at my local library. I was surprised, because I live in a small town and the selection of cancer books is limited. I also wondered if the authors would have enough material for a book-length manuscript. It turns out they did!

This is a great book–very easy to read and the reader can easily browse through the chapters to find the material of greatest interest to him or her. The book is divided  into four parts: Cancer and Cancer Treatment Basics, What Are Clinical Trials and How Are They Organized, Deciding Whether to Participate in a Clinical Trial, Medical Treatment of Cancer Now and in the Future.

Although I was familiar with some of the material, there was quite a lot I didn’t know. I knew some of the history behind the evolution of the clinical trial system, but I came away knowing a lot more. I also appreciated the chapter on drugs currently in testing. Categories of chemotherapy drugs include antimetabolites, alkylating agents, DNA cross-linking derivatives, antitumor antibiotics, miotic inhibitors. Hormonal agents are also covered: testosterone and estrogen lowering drugs, hormone blocking drugs and testosterone conversion/activation blockers. But wait, there’s more: small-molecule targeted drugs, monoclonal antibodies, immunotherapy, differentiation therapy and gene therapy. Obviously, not all of these drugs have application to metastatic breast cancer but I appreciated the clear explanation of what they are and how they work.

You can read an excerpt from “Cancer Clinical Trials: A Commonsense Guide to Experimental Cancer Therapies and Clinical Trials” here.

While you cannot know the results of a clinical trial that has not been completed, it’s important to thoroughly understand why the trial is being conducted (the hypothesis) and how it’s going to be conducted (the experiment). You’ll also want to know how the clinical trial might benefit you: what is the expected—or hoped for—result. We will help you learn to ask the right questions of the right people to get these answers more quickly.–Dr. Tom Beer and Larry W. Axmaker

 

CancerClinicalTrials

Cancer Clinical Trials Cover Final

-Katherine O’Brien, August 2016

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