Information for Patients

Patients and Clinical trials

HOW MIGHT YOU BENEFIT FROM TAKING PART IN A CLINICAL TRIAL?

Patients on clinical trials may have access to new drugs and therapies that might not be available as a standard treatment option and also have a very high standard of care. Clinical trials offer the chance to try new or alternative treatments when a patient may not have responded to a conventional treatment. Please see our Patient information leaflet -Clinical trials

PATIENT POWER- WHAT YOU CAN DO AS A PATIENT

One of the greatest barriers to patient participation in clinical trials is a lack of awareness. Generally speaking, clinical trials are not spoken about in regular doctor/patient appointments as a treatment option. Ideally they should be part of every post-diagnosis consultation. All patients need to know what type of illness they have and whether there is a current or possible future treatment. so once patients have come to terms with their diagnosis, clinical trial opportunities should factor into any discussion of treatment options.

Nowdays Patients are now becoming empowered consumers —for example, there are a growing number of online clinical trial finder tools that can easily be accessed by both medical teams and patients and their carers to search for appropriate trials based on a patient’s disease. This means patients now have the power to look for new treatments and trials related to their specific disease that their own doctors may not be aware of.

If you think you may benefit from participating in a clinical trial you should raise the topic with your doctor and ask for information about clinical trials or contact us at BCNI@nuigalway.ie or see us at www.bloodcancers.ie/bloodcancers/clinicaltrials/

 

Information on Blood Cancers

Blood cancer is an umbrella term for cancers that affect the cells of the blood or the organs where blood cells grow and develop such as the bone marrow and lymphatic system. It includes cancers such as leukaemia, lymphoma and myeloma. Most of these cancers begin in the bone marrow where blood is produced or in the lymph nodes where white blood cells mature. In the bone marrow so called “Stem cells” can mature into three types of blood cells: red blood cells, white blood cells and platelets. In most blood cancers the normal development of blood cells is interrupted, leading to the accumulation of abnormal blood cells and the lack of proper, healthy blood cells.

Blood cancers are traditionally treated with genotoxic or cytotoxic chemotherapeutic drugs and in many cases the treatment is very effective, however in some cases the cancer returns (relapses) and becomes resistant to drug treatment. Blood cancers account for about 10% of cancer deaths and it is the relapsed drug resistant cancer that is the cause of most deaths. How blood cancers develop and how these cancer cells can become resistant to drugs is becoming better understood. Using this knowledge companies and researchers work together to develop new and better treatments that target the specific features of cancer cells.

 

There are three main types of blood cancers: Leukaemia, Lymphoma and Myeloma.

For more infomation you can listen in to a radio interview by Prof Michael O'Dwyer giving an overview of blood cancers and advances in treatments by downloading

Galway Bay FM radio interview