Clinical Trials: We Can’t Do Them Without You
I would like to thank Kelly McKee for preparing this guest post. Kelly is head of Eli Lilly’s new patient outreach effort. You can learn more about Kelly here. I’d also like to thank Leigh Anne Naas at Lilly for seeing some value in #WhyClinicalTrialsMatter and allowing her team member time to contribute. Finally, I’d like to add my unsolicited recommendation to follow @LillyTrials if you are interested in clinical trial innovation. They produce and tweet some really interesting information, and I’ve enjoyed reading their content. And so, over to Kelly….
Did you know that the medicines you take today were made possible because people volunteered to take part in clinical research? Clinical research is the process in which medicines and vaccines are tested to determine if they are safe and effective, and they cannot be conducted unless volunteers enroll into clinical trials.
Because of clinical trial volunteers, we have seen huge advances in modern medicine. Consider just two examples:
- In just over one year’s time, cancer research has brought four new therapy options that fill a major treatment need for patients with chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL), the most common form of adult leukemia. These new approaches include both targeted drugs and immunotherapies and have the opportunity to improve survival and quality of life for many patients with this form of cancer (Cancer Progress Net, 2016).
- In 1962, the survival rate of childhood acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) was 4%. Today it is 94%. (Children’s Clinical Research Fund, 2016). That’s because of clinical trials!
Sounds great, right? Well, it is, but too few individuals know about clinical trials and too few volunteer to take part, leading to delays in the development of new medicines and vaccines. Estimates suggest that upwards of 80% of clinical research studies struggle with the need to find more participants (CISCRP, 2011) and up to 20% of clinical trials close due to lack of participation (Cheng, 2011).
Imagine what could be accomplished if more people knew about clinical trials and considered the opportunity to participate. As we celebrate International Clinical Trials Day on May 20th, talk to your friends, neighbours, and colleagues about clinical research. Spread the word about the importance of this work and together we can continue to make a difference!
Cancer Progress Net website: http://www.cancerprogress.net/cca/advance-year
Children’s Clinical Research Fund website: http://www.childrensresearchfund.org/
Center for Information and Study of Clinical Research Promotion (CISCRP) website: CISCRP.org
Cheng SK, Dietrich MS, Dilts DM. Predicting accrual achievement: monitoring accrual milestones of NCI-CTEPsponsored clinical trials. Clin Cancer Res. 2011 Apr 1;17(7):1947-55