Two intriguing articles on participation in clinical trials were published this week. Both happen to be about breast cancer, but both touch squarely on some universal points:
ABC News features patient Haralee Weintraub, who has enrolled in 5 trials in the past 10 years. While she is unusual for having participated in so many studies, Weintraub’s offers great insights into the barriers and benefits of being in the trial, including the fact that many benefits – such as close follow-up and attention from the treatment team -- are not obvious at first.
Meanwhile, the New York Times’ recurring column from Dr Peter Bach on his wife’s breast cancer offers a moving description of her consent into a trial. His essay focuses mainly on the incremental, slow pace of cancer research (“this arduous slog”) and how it is both incredibly frustrating and absolutely necessary for long-term improvements in treatment.