Considering a Clinical Trial for CLL Treatment

Patient and clinician insight on the process involved in the enrollment in a clinical trial for the treatment of chronic lymphocytic leukemia and typical patient factors that help determine one’s eligibility.
PUBLISHED March 25, 2019


Transcript: 

Nicole Lamanna, M.D.:
When you first were in discussion about whether you’re going to go for more traditional therapy after the three cycles or a clinical trial participation, do you remember that discussion?

Danise Hoover: Yes, it was complicated. It was interesting. I feel like there were a lot of people offering me information. It was a bit overwhelming. One of my daughters came with me and….

Nicole Lamanna, M.D.: Good.

Danise Hoover: Good, yes. My husband was out of town. So there was somebody else there to help remember and ask questions. But it seemed like such a positive thing to do. We’re here in New York at a big research hospital. It seems like an opportunity that you should not let go by. You should take advantage of what’s offered to you. The science was very interesting. The whole process of being on the cutting edge was very interesting. So yes, I did not think very long before I decided to go on the clinical trial.

Nicole Lamanna, M.D.: As Danise was referring to, there’s definitely a lot involved with clinical trials. She had lots of paperwork and things to read, and I’m sure they gave her things to go home with, to read.

Danise Hoover: Lots of things to sign.

Nicole Lamanna, M.D.: I think that it’s an important process. Usually there’s a team approach to this. We usually have a research team as well that does this, depending upon the center that has clinical trials. But most of the academic centers that run clinical trials have a process. Besides the physician, there’s a team approach to the research, which is nice because the goal is that the physicians will talk about one layer, and the nurses will help educate, on a finer level, on some of the side effects and things like that. And then you want to give the patient some time to review the materials and ask any questions, write them down. There’s no doubt that there’s a process involved with clinical trials. We’re going to talk about Danise’s experience with one particular clinical trial, but there oftentimes is a lot of give and take. There’s a lot of back and forth, and there’s a team approach to handling patients on clinical trials.

Danise, overall, before we start talking about the specifics of the trial that you were on, are you happy that you participated in a clinical trial?

Danise Hoover: Oh yes.

Nicole Lamanna, M.D.: And as I said, I think there probably is a level of commitment. We realize that not everybody might be the right fit for a clinical trial, and it requires a very individualized approach. In conjunction with your physician, or your team, you need to talk about if a clinical trial is right for you. And again, depending upon where you’re being followed or monitored, obviously not all centers have clinical trials, but hopefully your physician could, if you’re interested or if the time came to discuss clinical trials, recommend who to go to and where to go to learn more about clinical trials. There are a lot of websites and things that patients can have access to, or that your care providers can steer you to, to look things up. But certainly, we don’t expect that patients understand all of the layers. We can talk about this later, but there are lots of areas that provide help to patients with CLL [chronic lymphocytic leukemia] who might need guidance along the way with their care or with clinical trial discussions. That’s important for you to keep in mind.


Transcript Edited for Clarity

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