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Ask The Nurse: Clinical Trials

This month's blog will focus on clinical trials as a treatment option.

Ask The Nurse // 25th January 2019

On our Infoline and Ask the Nurses services we often get asked to provide extra information about what treatment options are available. These queries can come from both patients who are newly diagnosed and patients who are relapsing or refractory (resistant to treatment). Some of these patients are considering clinical trials as a treatment option. Here are some of the most common questions we get asked.

How can I learn about clinical trials available in the UK?

There are a number of ways to find out about clinical trials. You can look at the Myeloma UK trial finder on our website which lists all the active myeloma and AL amyloidosis clinical trials available here in the UK. You can also talk to your healthcare team (haematologist or clinical nurse specialist) who may be able to advise you on clinical trials in your area. Alternatively, you can speak with our team of Myeloma Information Specialists who may be able to provide some further information.

How would I know if I can join a clinical trial?

All clinical trials have specific entry conditions patients must meet before they are considered suitable for a clinical trial.  Entry conditions differ between clinical trials and are defined by the purpose of the trial. These conditions can include when you were diagnosed, how many lines of treatment you have received, the stage of your myeloma, your age or your fitness. The conditions for each clinical trial will be outlined in the trial protocol (plan for the trial). As all clinical trials have strict entry and exclusion criteria, your doctor (haematologist) would be best placed to look at these requirements and discuss whether this could be an option or not.

How do I join a clinical trial?

If you are interested in any of the trials, you need to discuss it with your doctor, as they will have access to all your medical information and can discuss your options further. If your doctor thinks the trial looks suitable for you, they will contact the trial team to ask if you can take part. You will not be able to sign you up to the trial without your doctor’s input

What should I think about before joining a clinical trial?

Before making the decision to join a clinical trial you should be aware of the purpose of the trial, the length of the trial, and the tests and procedures involved in the trial. It is important to understand the possible advantages and disadvantages the trial may have and to talk to your doctor about why this trial would be suitable for you.

You can read more about these factors in the information provided by the doctor or nurse involved in the trial. The information will describe what is involved and what you should expect. Myeloma UK can also provide reliable information about the clinical trials and treatments involved.

To find out more about clinical trials currently running and the treatments being tested you can look at our Myeloma Trial Finder and our Horizon Infosheets.

 

Best Wishes

The Myeloma UK Information Specialist Team