As January is Pancreatic Cancer Clinical Trials Awareness Month, TrialSite News highlights a recently published statement from the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network (PanCAN). The evidence shows that those patients who participate in clinical research have better outcomes when it comes to pancreatic cancer. Every advanced treatment available today was made possible by clinical research. Hence, PanCAN strongly recommends that any patient who has been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer also considers available clinical trials. Clinical trials are the best-known way to get new advanced treatments toward approval, and hence market authorization for patients.
Patient Participation Crucial
PanCAN declares that patient participation is vital for the success of a study—moreover, clinical trials should be designed to match what patients need. With growing cancer research as a care option movement, there are initiatives ongoing to ensure that clinical trials are an option for as many patients as possible. The patient need should be at the center of the research operation.
In many traditional cancer trials, the eligibility criteria to participate have been overly rigid, precluding too many patients that could benefit from the trial. PanCAN, government agencies, and industry sponsors, not to mention other groups, are working tirelessly to change this dynamic and better ensure access to advanced experimental medicine in clinical trials.
Patients Need to become Advocates for Themselves
Believe it, or not many doctors still think of clinical trials as a “last resort” kind of thing and discourage patients from participating until they have exhausted all other options. Hence, we must remember that our health, our livelihood, our life, is in our hands. We cannot hand it over to others. We must be critically attuned to this fundamental reality. That is why TrialSite News’ mission is to breakdown, simplify (where we can), and bring transparency to clinical trials—because whether we are a patient or a professional stakeholder—the stakes are too big.
PanCAN encourages patients to advocate for themselves and the clinical trial option with their healthcare team. What does self-advocacy mean? Speaking up for yourself! Take an active role in your cancer care and talking to the health professionals about your needs. We must remember, however, that we must do our homework—Critically vetting information, assumptions, and data points until we have a holistic, critical understanding that empowers us to be self-advocates in the first place.
If you have a pancreatic diagnosis, consider participating with PanCAN. Their Patient Central offers free resources and information about all thing’s pancreatic cancer clinical trials.
Call to Action: See PanCan’s information.