Clinical Research

One of the most important activities at centers that specialize in specific illnesses is their ability to advance the field. For patients, this means developing more effective and less toxic treatments or finding faster ways to monitor and detect disease.

Typically, these activities are conducted under the auspice of a clinical trial. Patients, and their families, may have preconceived notions about what being in a clinical trial really means. Some believe they are just “an experiment”, others fear getting placebos. Neither of these could be farther from the truth. First, it’s critical to know the federal government and the institution closely monitor every trial, and every patient on a trial, to assure that we are complying with all institutional, state and federal regulations on research with human subjects. Institutions and physicians can experience multi-million dollar fines for misconduct, and all physicians included must receive highly specialized training. In fact, every drug used to treat your disease has been studied, at one point or another in a clinical trial. And, most importantly, the overwhelming majority of patients, once treated on trial, say they prefer the care and attention they receive on study, and feel like they “…are getting the best and latest care for their disease.”

Finally, while every patient worries they are getting a placebo, you should know placebo controlled studies in lymphoma are almost unheard of. You couldn’t get on a placebo controlled study unless you signed an informed consent. Hence, this could never happen without your knowledge, and approval.

We hope you find the following material helpful in differentiating the facts from the myths.