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What Do Patients Need To Know About Clinical Trials? - Dr. Chap (VIDEO)

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Dr. Chap provides information about clinical trials that women should know before they participate.

Dr. Chap:
That is such a good question. You know, a common complaint that often comes from patients and laypeople is why we aren’t even making quicker strides in medicine and in oncology in particular, but if you look at patients’ enrollment in clinical trials it’s actually barely 7%, probably closer to 3% of patients who participate in clinical trials. I think that number is so low for a multitude of reasons, one perhaps being that it’s a bit time-consuming to do clinical trials. It requires a certain expertise, extra time spent with the patient.

There are other therapies out there that one may feel more comfortable and practice using as opposed to a trial, and often there’s a misconception from the patient’s standpoint that they are being treated as a guinea pig. That this is something we have no idea of what we are doing, and that something proven or tested in patients before them perhaps may be better.

The patients on clinical trials are followed very, very closely, which also provides them with an extra layer of care; there are extra people really watching them closely to see what the benefit may be in that therapy or any side effects. So clinical trials, if not available through a patient’s physician, there are multiple websites that one can access through the Internet such as the JNCI where they can really find out what might be available both in their area, as well as elsewhere, even out of state that maybe their physician doesn’t have access to.

About Dr. Linnea Chap, M.D.:
Linnea Chap, M.D., is a medical oncologist with an interest in breast cancer treatment. She has been published multiple times and has led several breast and ovarian cancer treatment protocols, including the pioneering use of novel biologic agents such as Herceptin and Avastin. In 2001, Dr. Chap was named, one of “America’s Top Breast Cancer Doctors” by Redbook. Annually, she has also been listed as one of “America’s Top Doctors for Cancer,” published by Michael Connelly. Recognized for her teaching and speaking skills, Dr. Chap has a national reputation where she is frequently called on to speak on the most recent advances in breast cancer treatment.

Visit Dr. Chap at Saint John's Health Center