Can a Clinical Trial Really Make a Difference? YES! Says an OHC Cancer Patient
OHC is at the forefront of the newest, most promising cancer treatments through its nationally recognized cancer clinical trial program. The program evaluates the effectiveness of new treatments and provides cancer patients with access to the new treatments. And for that, Kathy Swensen is grateful.
Kathy was diagnosed with advanced renal cell cancer in 2017 and felt hopeless. Fortunately for Kathy, she was referred to OHC’s Pat Ward, MD, PhD, medical oncologist, hematologist and co-director of OHC’s nationally-recognized clinical research program.
“Dr. Ward recommended I enroll in a kidney cancer clinical trial that was available at OHC. He said the drugs being studied had a lot of potential.”
Before agreeing to the trial, Kathy went to the Cleveland Clinic for a second opinion. First, she was told the Cleveland Clinic didn’t offer that clinical trial. Second, she was adamantly told by the doctor, “If you can get in that trial, do it!” So, Kathy came home to OHC and enrolled.
“That clinical trial gave me hope,” Kathy explained. “When I received my diagnosis, I thought my life was over, but OHC made me feel like there was still a chance. OHC was like a light that gave me hope.”
“There are many advancements in targeted therapy, immunotherapy, and cellular therapy that are providing exciting new treatments to our patients,” said Dr. Ward. “When we talk about clinical trials, we are talking about moving the field forward and improving patient outcomes. Clinical research is how we get better at what we do. Ultimately, participation in a clinical trial is the best possible care for a cancer patient.”
Kathy believes OHC’s clinical trial was a blessing for two reasons: it gave her a fighting chance and she wouldn’t have to travel to get the treatment. She recommends all patients consider clinical trials and be open-minded about them.
“The difference between a standard treatment and treatment through a clinical trial is really just about numbers. Instead of four vials of blood, I give 12. I have more scans than usual. But it isn’t a big deal. It just becomes routine,” she said.
OHC’s clinical research team recently introduced the groundbreaking treatment, CAR-T cell therapy, which also started in a clinical trial.
“Every treatment starts in a clinical trial, which is why they are so important. And when we find a cure for cancer, you can bet it will be in a clinical trial,” added Dr. Ward.
OHC’s cancer research experts offer clinical trials for a wide range of cancers. For a list of clinical trials, visit here. If you’d like a second opinion, click Request an Appointment or call 1-800-710-4674.