Vim & Vigor - Fall 2017 - University of Virginia - 8

ASK THE EXPERT BY KELLY CASEY

CLINICAL TRIAL MYTHS

Finding new cures for
diseases takes the dedication
of highly trained scientists. But
it also takes the involvement of
ordinary people. That's because
clinical trials are essential to
advancing medicine. If you or
a loved one is ever asked to
need to know. Dina Gould Halme,
PhD, sheds light on common
misconceptions and unfounded
fears about clinical trials. Her
role is to facilitate research done
by colleagues at the UVA Cancer
Center. As a National Cancer
Institute-designated center, UVA
offers a wide variety of clinical
trials in treatment, diagnosis,
imaging, detection and prevention.

8

FA L L 2017

Q

What are common myths
about clinical trials?
I think people worry they're
going to be guinea pigs or they won't
be getting the best possible treatment. Neither one of those is true. For
example, in a clinical study with cancer
patients, the patient will always get the
best available therapy to date. A cancer
patient cannot be given a placebo
(substance or treatment with no active
therapeutic effect) alone or a therapy
that's known to be ineffective.

Some people also think that they
are approached about a clinical trial
only if they are out of other options.
In some cases, clinical trials are
reserved for cancer patients who've
exhausted all other treatments. But
most studies are designed to compare
the current standard treatment with
one being developed. There are also
trials to help improve the quality of
life for cancer patients and survivors.
These are important because many
of the treatment regimens for cancer
are so difficult for patients.

Q

Why should I participate
in a clinical trial?
The most important thing to
remember is that the lifesaving treatments available today were dependent
upon the many people who were willing
to participate in clinical trials in the
past. I would encourage everyone to
take the opportunity to participate in
a trial if one is offered. ■

RESEARCH

Considering a
Cancer Trial?
At UVA Cancer Center,
you'll find a wide variety of
clinical trials. Learn more at
uvahealth.com/cancer-trials.

TOP LEFT PHOTO BY GETTY IMAGES; TOP RIGHT BY KAY TAYLOR, UVA HEALTH SYSTEM

participate in one, here's what you

Q

What is a clinical trial?
A clinical trial is a research study
that involves people. The study
may explore whether a treatment or
device is safe and effective. Clinical trials
can tell us more than whether a treatment works. They can help answer questions such as: Does the treatment work
better than other treatments? Does it
have any side effects? If so, are those
side effects acceptable when weighed
against the benefits of the treatment?

Dina Gould Halme,
PhD, director
for Research
Administration
and Strategic
Planning at UVA
Cancer Center


http://www.uvahealth.com/cancer-trials

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Vim & Vigor - Fall 2017 - University of Virginia

Contents
Vim & Vigor - Fall 2017 - University of Virginia - Cover1
Vim & Vigor - Fall 2017 - University of Virginia - Cover2
Vim & Vigor - Fall 2017 - University of Virginia - Contents
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Vim & Vigor - Fall 2017 - University of Virginia - Cover3
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