What It's Like to Enroll in a Clinical Trial

When Elizabeth Cahn was presented with her treatment options for triple-negative breast cancer, the decision was about more than just getting healthy; it was about “paying it forward.”

“I know there are many people who participated in clinical trials before I came along and it was because of their participation that researchers were able to create a new combination of chemotherapy drugs available to me,” says Cahn. “It made me feel like I was part of a much bigger world of people trying to make the patient experience better.”

Cahn (@ElizabethCahn) recently discussed her clinical trial experience during a live Google+ Hangout with Tracy Bell, RN, a research nurse with Dana-Farber’s Early Drug Development Center. Cahn joined fellow clinical trial patients Karen Lee Sobol (@KarenLeeSobol_) and Tom Kochanek, PhD, as well as parent/caregiver Lee Hudson, whose daughter has undergone a clinical trial. The panel shared their knowledge on the clinical trial process, including advice on side effects, insurance, and the anxieties of treatment.

“I felt that, if there was success with the clinical trial, I would be fortunate and medical science would benefit, but even if I didn’t have success, medical science would still benefit,” says Sobol, who was diagnosed with Waldenström’s macroglobulinemia. “I looked at enrolling in a clinical trial as a win-win situation.”

Learn more from Cahn, Sobol and the other panelists in the video below:

Learn more about clinical trials at dana-farber.org/clinicaltrials