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View Diary: Open thread for night owls: House-led shutdown forces NIH to turn away child cancer patients (119 comments)

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  •  These trials... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    ...almost never help the patients enrolled in them. Nor, are they intended to do so.

    Indeed, patients are more likely to suffer more from such experimental treatments than benefit from them. There's a reason such treatments are typically not offered to patients that have not exhausted all tested and approved treatments and that anyone offering them outside of a trial setting would probably be prosecuted. The vast majority of drugs tested in these trials never get FDA approval in the form they are being tested -- and for good reason, they either don't help or have side effects that are not tolerable. The patients are guinea pigs which, like guinea pigs, rarely benefit from the experiment.

    It's correct to say that these patients and their families are hoping for a miracle (which, of course, don't exist). It is quite unfortunate that some have wasted money on travel arrangements, but the patient probably benefits from not receiving the trial treatments in most cases.

    •  As a cancer survivor (2+ / 0-)
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      JeffW, on the cusp

      I am grateful to those patients who volunteered for clinical trials that eventually resulted in the chemo drugs and radiation that helped save my life. And if things had not gone well, I would want to join a trial, not because I expected a miracle, but because at least some good might come out of what's a pretty shitty deal...

      "The universe is made of stories, not atoms." -Muriel Rukeyser

      by tubacat on Wed Oct 02, 2013 at 12:05:55 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

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