It is beyond the scope of this site to discuss individual clinical trials for patients with Triple Negative Breast Cancer. However, we felt it important to discuss clinical trials as a whole. There are good reasons to get involved with clinical trials. Firstly, it allows patients access to cutting edge therapies. Secondly, even if a clinical trial is not available to you, groups that participate in clinical trials tend to be at the cutting edge of science. Thirdly, clinical trials are how surgical and medical therapies are tested and how they are compared to current therapies.
Clinical Trial Phases: Phase I clinical trials are usually designed to determine the adequate dose of a drug. Phase II clinical trials are mostly designed to test the safety of a drug and, finally, Phase III clinical trials test the efficacy of the medication. Bear in mind that the safety of the patient is first and foremost in all trial designs. Therefore, if your doctor recommends a trial, he or she will be able to explain to you why it is important to you personally, but also why it may be important to science.
When to Enroll in a Clinical Trial: These trials are offered at various stages of your disease. You don't have to have incurable disease to be offered a clinical trial. In fact, many trials are designed specifically to evaluate patients with early stage breast cancer. In general, the anticipated results of the trial are thought to be equal or better than conventional treatment. So what happens if it's an inferior therapy? All large trials are evaluated at periodic intervals and if at any time it appears the treatment is inferior to conventional treatment, the trial is cancelled and the patient is offered an alternative treatment.
Additional Resources: Always ask your doctor if he or she participates in clinical trials. Ask if his or her group or institution participates in clinical trials. Those who do tend to be at the forefront of treatment options. Ask if you can participate in a clinical trial. Even if none area available for your specific situation or even if you choose not to participate, your care will be enhanced by this activity. For further information about specific clinical trials, you can visit https://clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/search/index and begin to explore your options.
Final Thoughts: Not all patients are comfortable enrolling in clinical trials and if you feel you don't want to participate you should not feel pressured to do so. Feel reassured that your treatment will not be affected by non-participation. But if you feel comfortable with participating, you should also feel reassured that your safety is paramount to your doctors and you may benefit from new and novel therapies. Some of the most important advances in breast cancer are as a result of clinical trials. For instance, it was a clinical trial that established that a lumpectomy under the right circumstances was as effective in curing breast cancer as a mastectomy that was the standard of care at that time. So when discussing treatment options with your doctors, you should always ask if you're a candidate for a clinical trial even if you ultimately choose not to participate