Show of HandsShow of Hands

YouWantMeToPay July 1st, 2013 6:01pm

The use of placebos in clinical cancer research studies. Participants, (mostly comprised of indigent persons) aren't informed that some will get the actual "promising new" drug and others only a fake. All are very hopeful and desperate.

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Zod Above Pugetropolis
07/01/13 8:51 pm

How could it be tested without a control? Somebody has to get the placebo, and presumably those who do are no worse off than if the treatment being tested hadn't been developed to that point in the first place.

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jpater Au2O3
07/01/13 12:47 pm

One last comment: indigents? Where did you get that from??

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jpater Au2O3
07/01/13 12:43 pm

I help run clinical trials in cancer. Nothing proceeds without "informed consent". Patients must confirm that they FULLY understand both the risks of experimental treatments and the chance that they will be randomly assigned to a "control group".

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TerryQuinn Stardust
07/01/13 11:49 am

Participants must be informed that they might be given placebo, otherwise it's illegal and immoral. If life-threatening, they don't give placebo but compare new drug to current drug.

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jpater Au2O3
07/01/13 12:46 pm

That's correct - in order to receive approval from the FDA new drugs must not only show safety and efficacy, but also that they are better than "the standard of care". So, the control group is usually the best currently available treatment.

susanr Colorado
07/01/13 11:27 am

Participants are mostly *indigents*?

RJ, is that correct? My friend certainly isn't indigent.

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YouWantMeToPay ... for THIS
07/01/13 11:38 am

Hi, Susan.
This is just a hypothetical question for the masses.
I felt you becoming offended in the prior debate and I apologize. In no way was there any intent to demoralize cancer research or its researchers. I only meant to open a topic.

susanr Colorado
07/01/13 11:22 am

Who says they are not informed that some will be on a placebo?

As far as I'm aware, that's an absolute requirement for informed consent, which itself is a requirement. I have a friend who's been in a clinical trial for a carcinoid tumor for...

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susanr Colorado
07/01/13 11:24 am

...a year, and she is VERY aware she could be on a placebo. Other measures are still taken (in some trials it's the best currently approved treatment), she is evaluated monthly, & if her disease progressed significantly she would be...

susanr Colorado
07/01/13 11:25 am

...removed from the trial.

RJ?

RJ1969 SoCal
07/01/13 11:29 am

All participants know they might be given placebo when they accept participation in the trial(s).

And as I said, when they are unblinded, if the treatment is demonstrating efficacy, all participants are switched over.

RJ1969 SoCal
07/01/13 11:13 am

That's why they will unmask at one point in the study and switch everyone over to the medication (if it is working, compared to control).

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MrLucchese If curious, ask.
07/01/13 11:03 am

Without a control group, any experiment is pointless.

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MrLucchese If curious, ask.
07/01/13 11:08 am

Thank you, Kirk.