By Emily Jordan, co-founder of Ancora.ai
“Too many patients don’t live near or get treated at a cancer center. Local oncologists need information and patients need to be informed of their choices and empowered to ask for them. Clinical trials are NOT last resorts in terms of treatment.”Metastatic breast cancer patient, Virginia, USA
If you’ve never thought about clinical trials as an option for breast cancer treatment, you’re not alone. I’ve heard from countless patients that trials are not something that crossed their minds or that their doctors have brought up with them.
Clinical trials are how new treatments are brought to market. There are thousands of trials ongoing and each trial is looking for a particular type of patient, whether that’s someone at a specific stage of breast cancer or with particular genetic mutation. This can be difficult information to go through on your own as a patient if you wanted to look at what trials are out there. You also can’t necessarily rely on your doctor to bring them up. Oncologists see many patients each day and already have to optimize standard-of-care treatment for each patient, so it makes sense that they don’t always have the bandwidth to research and entertain all clinical trial possibilities for every patient. Even if a doctor does consider trials, typically they’ll only assess options in their own research center that they know about first-hand. For patients that aren’t being treated at a research hospital, this means most will never hear a word about trials, much less be presented with highly suitable options.
With Ancora.ai, we are trying to change this pattern. We want to make sure that every breast cancer patient is aware of their trial options and that they are empowered to easily find this information on their own. In this post I’ll try to explain why and also share some quotes and experiences from patients who have been through trials.
Clinical trials are important for a few reasons:
1.Trials can benefit you!
2. You want to be prepared!
3. It’s easy!
Ancora.ai makes it simple to stay up to date on trials if you fill in our patient questionnaire (see “How Does Ancora work” on our home page), save a profile and set your notifications. It takes 4 minutes to do this on average. Then you’ll receive alerts if any trials that might be suitable for you are initiated or updated. In this way, you can make sure you don’t miss anything but don’t have to actively worry about or track trials. We suggest you spend a few minutes setting up your search and then you can forget about it, knowing that you’ll still be updated on any news. If you have any questions, you can always reach out to our team for support (email@example.com).
“Clinical trials are an OPPORTUNITY. it’s old school to think of them as a last resort. I found and advocated for my clinical trial. My oncologist doesn’t have the dedicated time to search for me. We must take an active role in our own survival.”Metastatic breast cancer patient, California
If you want to find out more about clinical trials, you might also want to check out a few more resources. We can recommend the following:
In August 2020 Ancora.ai and Ticking off Breast Cancer did a focus week on clinical trials together and you can see some of the materials we developed here:
You can also follow Ancora.ai on social media to stay up to date on all things clinical trials:
The information and content provided in all guest blogs is intended for information and educational purposes only and is not intended to substitute for professional medical advice. Please seek professional advice or speak to your medical team if you have any questions about the issues raised in this guest blog.
Sylvie and Danielle began Future Dreams with just £100. Since then we have raised over £6.5m. We couldn’t do any of this without you. Please donate, if we all act now we believe that by 2050 everyone who develops breast cancer will live.