When facing a diagnosis of metastatic breast cancer, patients often have many questions about clinical trials: Is a clinical trial right for me? When is a good time to consider a clinical trial? What types of treatments might be available?
While there may be many questions about the process, the decision to participate in a study is an important step in advancing cancer care for future patients. For metastatic breast cancer, clinical trial research has been particularly important in providing new options for patients with this treatable, but incurable disease.
“None of the treatments available to us in 2016 would be possible if patients didn’t participate in clinical trials,” says Erica Mayer, MD, MPH, a breast oncologist with the Susan F. Smith Center for Women’s Cancers at Dana-Farber. “Just in the past five years we’ve had several medicines for metastatic breast cancer that have been approved and are available for patients today.”
Mayer recently joined Nancy Lin, MD, for a live video webchat on choosing a clinical trial for metastatic breast cancer. The two experts discussed the process of choosing a clinical trial and how patients can find a clinical trial that is right for them.
“Nowadays we are trying – from the very beginning – to focus on patients that are most likely to benefit from these treatments, so we can hopefully start targeting therapies even earlier in the clinical trial process,” says Lin.
Watch the webchat video below to learn more about clinical trials for metastatic breast cancer: