Clinical trials have the potential to extend and possibly save lives. But they are not readily accessible to patients with metastatic cancer.
It is too difficult for patients to find appropriate clinical trials. Patients have to do most of the work to find the trials for which they are eligible. This is an arduous task at the best of times, it is a horrendous burden for terminally ill patients.
And yet, it’s a well-known fact that clinical trials are under-enrolled. A staggering number of clinical trials fail to meet recruitment goals.
When we exhaust the typical, standard of care chemotherapy treatments and/or have brain metastases but are asymptomatic, we are ineligible for most clinical trials and have no other treatment options left and die.
This is unacceptable.
MBC patients are being denied potentially life-extending, cutting-edge technology because of antiquated requirements. This not only hurts MBC patients, but also leaves a void in the body of scientific data.
METUP advocates for the following for Metastatic Patients:
- A “One-Stop” shop for appropriate clinical trials;
- Parallel Tracks.
What is a “Parallel Track”?
A parallel track is the a dministration of a new investigational drug to patients not enrolled in a clinical trial, after preliminary studies have shown that the drug has some beneficial effects.
We believe that clinical trials for metastatic/Stage IV patients should include Parallel Tracks. This would allow clinical trials to accommodate typically ineligible patients while working within the existing clinical trial structure. Parallel Tracks also have the potential to give patients extra time to live as well as provide the trial designers with information on the trial drug’s effectiveness in the patient population for whom the drug, once approved is intended.