Finding a CLL clinical trial can feel overwhelming for some patients, so where can they start? CLL expert Dr. Adam Kittai shares advice, credible resources, and provides key questions to ask about trial participation.
Dr. Adam Kittai is a hematologist and an assistant professor at the The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center – The James. Learn more about Dr. Kittai, here.
Now that we know what trials are and how they work, how can people find out what trials are available to them?
Yeah. So, I’ll come back to this, but once again, talk to your physician. They’ll know what clinical trials are available at whatever site you are seeing them in. If there’s a local academic sector, the academic sector typically has clinical trials available there as well. So, it’s always good to get a second opinion in that regard.
But one of the open access places that you can find all clinical trials is clinicaltrials.gov. This has all active running clinical trials listed out and anyone can access it. There are other societies out there that often post about clinical trials. So, there’s the CLL Society. It’s a website that you can check out that has a lot of information on there about active clinical trials in CLL. There’s also The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, the Lymphoma Research Foundation, they all have websites available that have a lot of clinical trials listed and how to access them.
Are there key questions that you think patients should ask their health care team about participating in a trial?
Yeah, for sure. I think one of the key questions to ask is, is the control arm appropriate. So, what do I mean by that? Sometimes people who design a clinical trial will design a trial where the control arm is an easy control arm to beat, meaning that it’s a treatment that we wouldn’t necessarily put you on as standard of care.
And so, I think this is a real question and an honest question that you should ask your physician prior to enrolling on a trial is, is the control arm something you would give me as standard of care. And if the answer is no, you should really consider not going on that trial or talking about why you would want to go on that trial if the control arm is not something they would put you put you on as standard of care.
That’s, I think, a key question to ask. And again, asking what phase it is and understanding where we are in the development.