At the Helen F. Graham Cancer Center, cancer survivors who participated in clinical trials are leading a new patient advisory committee. A first of its kind in Delaware, the Clinical Trials Advisory and Advocacy Group aims to build a bridge of understanding between cancer patients and the multidisciplinary teams of physicians, nurses, social workers and others who care for patients participating in clinical studies.
Having a patient’s perspective on clinical trials provides important benefits to care providers, patients and families, including:
- Connecting prospective clinical-trial participants with survivors who have been through clinical trials, so that patients can make better-informed decisions.
- Finding new ways to educate patients and the community, and dispel myths.
- Raising awareness in the community, and helping the community to understand what a clinical trial is and the importance of clinical trials.
- Limiting or reducing the overwhelming feelings that often accompany the decision-making process for cancer patients and their families.
- Coordinating seminars and other outreach projects to help educate patients and the community.
- Involving patients in future goals, such as involvement in protocol development, enhancing accruals, and providing the patient perspective to researchers designing clinical trials.
- Hosting celebrations for clinical-trial participants.