Clinical trials are considered a better method for treating laryngeal and hypopharyngeal cancers. The evaluation of new drugs, different combinations of treatments, new approaches to surgery, and new therapies are a part of the clinical trials of laryngeal and hypopharyngeal cancers. Volunteers or patients willing to participate in the clinical trials should communicate with their doctor and healthcare team and research expertise. This will help them to make a well-informed choice regarding participation while signing informed consent.
Clinical trials also focus on deriving methods to manage and relieve the side effects of cancer treatments. The volunteers willingly participate as they know the studies are a way to help advance the treatment of laryngeal and hypopharyngeal cancers. Eligibility criteria for laryngeal and hypopharyngeal cancer clinical trials ensure that the participants are safe and bound to no ill effects. People who take part in clinical trials of laryngeal and hypopharyngeal cancers may withdraw their participation at any moment in time due to any personal or medical conditions. It may be because the treatment is not working or giving the desired results, including severe risks and side effects.
Clinical Trials for Laryngeal and Hypopharyngeal Cancer
Scientists and health care specialists are always looking for better strategies to treat and cure people with laryngeal and hypopharyngeal cancer. These specialists create research studies involving volunteers, known as clinical trials, to conduct research and make scientific advances. Clinical trials evaluate and verify different new approaches. They also evaluate medications or devices to treat laryngeal and hypopharyngeal cancer or any disease condition. Every medicine or drug approved by the FDA that is presently used was tried and tested in clinical trials.
Clinical trials can be employed for all types and stages of laryngeal and hypopharyngeal cancer conditions 1. Most clinical trials focus on experimenting with new treatment options. They learn if a new treatment strategy is safe, effective, and better than the existing ones. The tests also evaluate new combinations of treatments, drugs, and other latest approaches in radiation, surgery, or other treatments. Some specific studies also focus on creating unique treatment plans and medications to manage and relieve symptoms and the possible side effects (short-term and long-term) of treatment 2.
Volunteers are necessary to carry out clinical trials. These people are the first to avail themselves of the new treatments and medications before making them available to the public. But since all these are new, there is an element of risk in these clinical trials. Sometimes people may experience a few to a range of side effects. There can also be chances that the new study may not become successful. People interested in joining clinical trials should talk with their doctor or healthcare team and understand all possible pros and cons of the study. This helps people to make informed well-decided choices.
JOINING A CLINICAL TRIAL
People come forward to participate in clinical trials for various reasons. Some patients consider clinical trials the best treatment option because the existing standard ones are not efficient in managing the disease condition. Hence people are often willing to try out clinical trials hoping that it will give them a better result. They join clinical trials with such hopes, even when they are uncertain about the impact of the trial.
Other patients and volunteers join clinical trials to help the trial progress and arrive at a beneficial result. They consider it a way to contribute to laryngeal and hypopharyngeal cancer treatment and cure. They will be aware that they may not benefit from the trial, but they participate with the hope that it will help future patients with laryngeal and hypopharyngeal cancers.
The cost and insurance coverage of clinical trials can vary with the study and its location. You can also reimburse the cost of participating in clinical trials. So, people wanting to participate in clinical trials must talk with the team that carries out the research and their insurance company to learn more about costs and reimbursement.
In some clinical trials, people express the concern that they are not given any treatment but instead a placebo. Placebo refers to a sugar pill usually combined with standard cancer treatment procedures. And so, it is necessary to inform the patients beforehand if the study involves the usage of a placebo.
INFORMED CONSENT AND PATIENT’S SAFETY
Volunteers or patients wanting to join clinical trials must talk with their doctor/ healthcare team and research specialists to make well decided informed choices regarding participating in the trial. This is known as informed consent.
Doctors should describe how this trial differs from the standard treatment strategy. What are the benefits and risk factors associated with this study? Explain the eligibility criteria to participate in clinical trials; what is expected of each participating person?
Eligibility criteria for clinical trials ensure that the participants are safe, bound to no ill effects, and the research has a proper structure. The participant and the research team will together review these criteria.
People who take part in clinical trials may withdraw their participation at any point in time due to any personal or medical conditions. It may be because the treatment is not working or giving the desired results, including severe risks and side effects. Experts and scientists would closely monitor clinical trials to look for their good and bad impacts. It is also important to communicate with the doctors and concerned specialists while participating in clinical trials,. As this will help the patients to know how they can manage their treatments and care during the trial and post the trial.
- 1.Ang KK. Larynx Preservation Clinical Trial Design: Summary of Key Recommendations of a Consensus Panel. The Oncologist. Published online October 1, 2010:25-29. doi:10.1634/theoncologist.2010-s3-25
- 2.Argiris A, Lefebvre JL. Laryngeal Preservation Strategies in Locally Advanced Laryngeal and Hypopharyngeal Cancers. Front Oncol. Published online May 31, 2019. doi:10.3389/fonc.2019.00419