Clinical trials may benefit oncology patients

Clinical research is a hugely important area when it comes to learning more about conditions, diagnosis and treatment; however, it is only recently that the full benefit of such research is really being recognised when it comes to cancer patients.

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A study into cancer

A study undertaken by the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Centre in Seattle looked at how cancer research affected and benefited the participants in studies sponsored by the National Cancer Institute. The team looked at trial data from positive SWOG trials – 23 in total – between the years 1965 and 2012. Headed up by Joseph M Unger, the team also estimated the dollar return on the invested costs in the research, which was calculated via the ratio of the National Cancer Institute’s financial investment divided by the potential increase in life expectancy as a result of the treatment.

The team concluded that an estimated 2.24 million years were gained for patients in 2015, resulting in a $125 (£96) return on the initial investment for each year of life. These are quite outstanding statistics and suggest that such clinical trials are a valuable investment for those funding the research; in addition, it suggests that the trials are successful in promoting and improving the quality of life and in extending life expectancy for oncology inpatient or outpatient.


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The future of clinical research

Clinical research first needs to identify patients who are eligible for specific trials; therefore, patient recruitment services, such as those provided by, need to be experienced and reliable in what they do. Trials can then look at methods of prevention, more effective screening and diagnosis, symptom and side-effect improvement, and treatments.

A new UK-wide trial, HALO 301, looks to research treatment for advanced pancreatic cancer once the cancer has spread beyond this organ. At present there are limited treatments available, although such a study in 2017 could radically change this and offer hope for better rates of survival.

This is just one example of how research is widening the scope of what specialists know and bringing new ideas with regard to treatment, improving the ways in which cancer care is delivered to the public. Clinical research therefore seems to bring huge improvements to the quality of life and life expectancy of the oncology patients who participate.

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