CLL clinical trials are an option for patients, but what is the benefit of participating in a trial? CLL expert Dr. Michael Choi shares the impact of recent research developments for patients.
Dr. Michael Choi is a hematologist and medical oncologist at UC San Diego Moores Cancer Center. More information on Dr. Choi here.
Dr. Choi, in your opinion, why should a patient with CLL consider participating in a clinical trial?
This is definitely a time where there has been a lot of recent progress in the treatment of patients with CLL. The drugs that have been developed in the last few years have definitely been advances, have shown that they are both more effective and more safe than the drugs that we had before.
So, oftentimes, participating in a clinical trial gives our patients access to some very promising therapies before they’re fully available. Certainly, there are some unknowns and still things to learn about these drugs, so one should be – there are safeguards built into these trials, but I’d say the main thing would be getting access to something that may be better than something that we’ve been using in the past. This applies to somebody getting treatment for the very first time where there may be reasons to think that a new drug or a new combination of therapies will have advantages over things that we’ve been using before.
And certainly, it is relevant to patients where the existing therapies have somehow stopped working where certainly the trials or experimental agents give us or give our patients a chance to get back in remission.