four years, hundreds of vials of blood and countless chunks of bone marrow later, the trial ended. i continued with the treatment i had been given, and though the tests and appointments slowed, by then i had not only learned so much about the value of clinical trials, but i had also developed some incredible relationships with those who made it their job to help me — and other cancer patients — survive.
i shared this story last week with a friend of a friend whose father is living with myeloma — a blood cancer with no cure. after a stem cell transplant, the cancer came back and his health care team is on the fence about whether or not continuing treatment is in his best interests.
if someone will die without treatment anyway, and they are willing, shouldn’t we always try?
this is the question his daughter asked. but what she really meant was,
surely there must still be hope
clinical trials not only give us innovative therapies, but also hope
it’s one of the most beautiful and incredible things about clinical trials: that among all the other benefits they offer, such as bringing innovative, life-saving therapies to those who need it most and keeping research and development churning, they also represent one more avenue — sometimes a final one — of possibility. and when you’re facing cruddy odds, this means everything.
we featured a story from clinical trials ontario
, an organization that works hard to support and promote ongoing clinical trials (more than 415,000 are ongoing around the world right now), educate patients and the public on the value of clinical trials and make it easier for them to get involved. with insights from people who have faced life-affecting diseases, the story made it easy to see the enormous benefits of clinical trials.