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clinical trials

Posts: 126
Joined: Mar 2012

since I am new I don't understand a lot of things. My Dr is suggesting clinical trials. Can someone explain what this means? I am the one disappointed in my onc, and he simply mentioned it and left the room. Later it occurred to me what he said.

Posts: 89
Joined: Jan 2012

Is your current treatment not working? Or is he suggesting a clinical trial down the road? I'm finding out by reading on the Internet that a lot of doctors aren't as up-to-speed on what clinical trials are available, that in many cases it's up to the patient to find out info. about them on our own.

If your doctor is suggesting a clinical trial in lieu of conventional treatment, I would seek a second opinion.....

carolenk's picture
Posts: 909
Joined: Feb 2011

I can't say WHY your doctor brought up the subject of a clinical trial for you, undertreatment. Before I jumped ship, I would ask the doctor "why?" as he might be heading up a clinical trial himself and feels it might be a good idea for you. Knowing that you have clear cell OVCA, it really doesn't surprise me that the subject of clinical trials came up early in your treatment plan. Maybe he wants you to start looking for a "back up plan" just in case you need one.

Before your next visit with your oncologist, you may want to become familiar with the various phases of clinical trials so you can ask appropriate questions. The Phase I trials are the most "experimental" and most people don't even get into a Phase I trial unless they are completely out of options.

Some of the clinical trials will not accept you if you have done more than three different chemos. So that is another consideration. Sometimes, ovarian cancer patients are given a chemo that has been shown to be effective along with ANOTHER chemo that isn't approved for ovarian cancer to see if the "cocktail" is more effective.

Another possibility is that the patient is given a standard of care chemo along with a targeted therapy. This is how Avastin (bevicizumab) came to be used for ovarian cancer. A lot of women refer to Avastin as "chemotherapy" when it falls into the category of "target therapy." The way of the future is towards the use of more targeted therapies to stop cancer as more research is looking at the biochemistry of cancer & how to block various pathways that cancer uses to promote itself.

You will find LOTS of clinical trials at the web site: www.clinical trials.gov

I hope that I haven't overwhelmed you with a big explanation. Please post more on this subject after your next meeting with your oncologist.

LaundryQueen's picture
Posts: 682
Joined: Mar 2011

Here's another web site that might be helpful:


Best wishes to you. There is a LOT to learn after you get your diagnosis. After a while, you will be explaining this to someone else who is new to the whole situation.

Posts: 81
Joined: Dec 2011

I'd be asking why too. That being said, I don't understand why he would be throwing out the idea of a clinical trial. The odds for those of us with 1c are pretty good, even with clear cell. The standard treatment is 6 rounds of carbo/taxol. And getting into a clinical trial with a stage 1 diagnosis is pretty much impossible. I did talk about clinical trials with my onc as my case fell into a very gray area in that my ob/gyn who did my surgery did not get the lymph nodes. He sent the ovary to pathology while I was in surgery and the pathologist originally reported benign. The cancer was found two days later when the entire ovary was dissected. I am staged 1c but it's not a real accurate staging without the nodes so we did discuss clinical trials. All the ones my gyn/onc knew about were only taking patients staged 2 or higher.

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