December 5 #LCSM Chat Topic – Is the System of Clinical Trials Fair For Patients?

By Dr. H. Jack West IS THE SYSTEM OF CLINICAL TRIALS FAIR FOR PATIENTS? DO YOU BELIEVE IN IT?  I just watched the movie “Dallas Buyers Club”, about the challenges of getting new drugs for HIV/AIDS just as the first effective treatments were being identified in early clinical trials. It portrays the DEA, FDA, and medical establishment as essentially obstructing the process of patients getting access to life-sustaining treatments, and it led me to wonder whether patients and caregivers feel that the system of novel agents being tested in clinical trials is… Read More

How Much Evidence Do We Really Need to Change Treatment Recommendations? – October 10

By Dr. H. Jack West One ongoing controversy in the world of managing cancer, especially one in which cures are elusive, is how high the bar should be to guide treatment recommendations. The “gold standard” to change treatment is a significant improvement in the primary endpoint, ideally overall survival, in a prospective, randomized phase III trial with several hundred or even several thousand people. In some settings, treatment recommendations may not even change until a few randomized phase III trials show the same significant improvement with a new treatment approach. But the reality is that sometimes we want… Read More

How Can We Accelerate Cancer Research with Online Education and Social Media? – September 26

By Dr. H. Jack West We are in the midst of a remarkable transitional time in cancer care that is exciting but challenging, since we now have patients divided into smaller and smaller groups based on molecular markers.  Along with that, more and more patients and caregivers are participating in social media and online discussion groups.  What are the implications for these changes, and how can we use them to accelerate the pace of clinical research?  I’d like to focus on a couple of key questions for our next lung cancer tweetchat… Read More