Types Of Clinical Trials

Clinical trials must follow a specific protocol in order to gain approval by the FDA. Phase I: Dose-seeking trials to identify side effects
Phase II: Determine response rates for a particular disease
Phase III: Compares new treatment to current standard of care

Baby Steps

Now the good news! Yes, newly diagnosed cancer cases are way up in the United States each year. But patients are living longer once they are diagnosed. Yesterday I shared my opinion we are losing the war against cancer. I was critical of the short-sighted, profit driven motivation of privately owned drug companies. It all depends how you spin it! This is definitely a glass half empty/half full situation. Everyday there is a press release announcing a newly approved cancer drug or drug combination. That is the new thing, you know. Using existing drugs in combination to slow the growth of the cancer. And it is working! A year here, a few months there – Last time I checked that adds up to a longer life for millions of cancer patients!
Baby steps. By taking this approach, drug companies and researchers get positive reinforcement. Anytime a new drug is approved by the FDA that company’s stock shoots up. And the FDA is approving more and more new drugs all of the time. Thankfully, the bar for approval has been re-set very low for cancer related therapies. Show any significant improvement, even if the study is small and documented improvements are only for a month or two, and the FDA fast-tracks the chemotherapy approvals and allows drug companies to use expanded studies and then get the drug to market relatively quickly. In tomorrow’s third and final installment, I will share my theory about why this is working and where cancer research is headed in the near future. See, the glass is half-full after all!
Feel good and keep smiling- Pat