Last week, during Ken Burns’ documentary, Cancer: The Emperor of All Maladies, Americans heard about the scientific community’s decades-long, tireless fight to treat and cure cancer, an incredibly complex disease that will take the lives of more than 585,000 Americans in 2015.
We are making remarkable progress in the fight against cancer, as scientific advances made by America’s biopharmaceutical researchers are propelling us into a new era of cancer care. Researchers are developing new weapons to fight the collection of diseases known as cancer, and discovering new ways to use existing therapies, either alone or in combination with other therapies, to treat various cancers.
To better our understanding of the impact and efficacy of these treatments, it is critical that we increase participation in clinical trials. Patient input and participation in clinical trials are critical to ensuring that new medicines are safe and meet patient needs. Unfortunately, only four percent of adult cancer patients currently participate, and without volunteers, we won’t be able to continue the significant progress we have made in fighting cancer.
The lack of understanding around clinical trials is a significant hurdle for biopharmaceutical companies, and one they are working diligently to address. Our hope is that as more people learn about the importance of clinical trials, more patients will be interested in contributing to the fight against cancer with their participation. For more information about how to participate or to help spread the word, visit our clinical trials page.
Every patient has a unique story and just as no single cancer is exactly the same, treatments should be targeted to individuals and their distinct needs. As the documentary demonstrated, personalized, targeted cancer care is the future, and through clinical trials, biopharmaceutical companies can deliver more effective therapies, making additional strides against cancer, and providing hope for cures. We encourage you to learn more about advances in cancer treatment and new medicines in development in our chart pack and via From Hope To Cures.
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Randy Burkholder Randy Burkholder is Vice President of Policy and Research at PhRMA. He has over 17 years experience in health care policy, advocacy and communications in the medical technology and pharmaceutical industries.