Clinical trials as the first line of treatment: Empowering patients to decide

Gene S LyskoMedical Writer

We know that clinical trials are the cornerstone of new-drug marketing approvals. But there’s more to it than that. For a considerable number of patients with advanced cancer or rare disease, clinical trials represent a potential lifesaver—or at least their chance for the highest currently available standard of care—offering hope to patients who may not have another treatment option.

It’s in these instances that a clinical trial may not only be considered as first-line treatment, but in some cases, treatment guidelines specifically recommend a clinical trial as a patient’s best option for potentially effective therapy. When a clinical trial is recommended (whether by treatment guidelines or by a patient’s doctor or nurse), it’s important for the patient to understand and truly appreciate the possible benefits and risks of participating.

It’s here that education plays a key role. Education can help to:

  •  Dispel myths—“no one’s experimenting on me” and “I might only get a sugar pill”
  •  Empower patients by explaining in plain words the benefits and the potential risks
  • Break down barriers to recruitment and retention
  • Show patients that clinical trials help all of us (appeal to altruism)

Artcraft Health Clinical Trials ( optimizes the use of health education to create a unique path to meeting recruitment and retention goals, which increases the strength of your clinical trials. Visit our corporate Web site at to learn how we can help you.