When Mel Mann @Ironmelmann was diagnosed with leukemia his doctors predicted he had only 3 years to live. But 22 years later he is still enjoying every moment of his life with his wife and daughter. Mel thanks the phase 1 clinical trial he chose to participate in, and now he proudly shares his story to help others learn.
Clinical trials are one of the most robust source of various kinds of evidence, on which the policies and practices of health care are based. Clinical trials are essential for the progress of medical research to find novel ways to attack the ever-changing face of modern diseases. Industry thought leaders believe that clinical trials are an important part of the Cancer Moonshot mission that aims to “make a decade of progress in five years in preventing, diagnosing, and treating cancer” as VP Joe Biden @VPlive tweeted. According to Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center , clinical trials can help speed up the process by providing access to the newest drug at affordable cost, with high level of expertise and care at a convenient location.
In short, clinical trials are essential for saving lives. However, what is worrisome is the frequent failures of many of these trials. As David Grainger describes in this article, the track record for success of trials for new, first-in-class agents is estimated to be below 25%, and unfortunately, 20% of publicly funded clinical trials stop abruptly due to lack of patient participation.
Lack of patient participation may be due to various reasons, an important one being the inability of patients to reach the right clinical trial that is most suitable for them. Clinical trial finder tools make the confusing process of selecting a right clinical trial less complex and more accurate.
What is a clinical trial finder tool?
A clinical trial finder is an internet based tool to help patients search a clinical trial matching their needs from the comfort of their homes. A patient can fill in their medical condition and search for all ongoing and upcoming clinical trials. Some tools also ask for the patient’s location so as to provide a shortlist of clinical trials near that area, so as to help patients save time and avoid traveling long distances.
Clinical trial finders provide a comprehensive list of available trials to choose from, saving both the patient’s as well as the physician’s valuable time. The patients can carry this list to their providers to discuss the trials they feel they want to know more about. This list also provides a good resource to refer to, even for a telephonic conversation with physicians or clinical trial managers, if a patient prefers that, over an in person meeting for any reason.
The clinicaltrials.gov which is considered as the repository of all available clinical trials maintained using a registry run by the U.S. National Institutes of Health and National Library of Medicine, my not be easy to navigate for an average patient. Many government, non-government, and patient advocacy websites related to different diseases have clinical trial finder search button on their pages, which helps patients find trials related to that specific disease.
Dory is an example of one such advanced clinical trial finder tool developed by TrialX.
How does Dory Work?
Dory is an award winning clinical trial finder tool that lets patients search clinical trials related to any disease or medical condition near them and connect with their investigators at a click of a button.
To start searching a clinical trial put in your medical condition
Once a patient begins search by entering a disease, he will be presented with the following screen asking if he needs guidance from start to finish or just needs Dory to perform advanced search.
Would you like Dory to guide you from start to finish or just perform advanced clinical trial search
If a patient chooses the first option – Guide me start to finish – he will be asked for his name, email id, and phone number (which is optional), so that Dory can connect the patient to the research sites.
Your contact information helps Dory connect you to research sites
Next, the patient will be educated about clinical trials using a series of answers to questions about clinical trials like – How are trials designed, what types are available, what does a “phase” mean, what is an observational trial, what is an interventional trial and so on.
If a patient chooses the second option – Perform advanced search – he will be straightaway taken to a page which displays a list of related trials, along with map and filters available to shortlist these trials on the basis of location (miles), type of study (interventional, observational or both), and phase of those clinical trials.
Display of your clinical trials search results
The list of clinical trials presented by Dory provides the name of the investigator, the location the trial is available at, the purpose of the study, and the date on which a particular trial was last updated. In addition it also allows the patient to call or send an email to the contact person of a particular clinical trial directly from this page.
Clinical trials details are displayed along with email and phone number
You can try out how the tool works yourself here: https://dory.trialx.com/ask/
How is Dory Different?
- Dory is not limited to any specific disease or location. A patient can search for available trials related to any disease or medical condition in the entire world. Dory derives data from ClinicalTrials.gov, to present you with authentic list of clinical trials matching a patient’s condition and location.
- Dory provides a map and list view of all searched trial sites. It also allows you to save your searches and share it as per your convenience. It helps a patient call or message any clinical trial location and get connected instantly.
- Dory’s responsive application design allows it to work efficiently across all devices.
- Dory can also be embedded on third party websites as a neat little widget for free. Adding this FREE widget will help the patients visiting the website, by connecting them to researchers nearby, and by finding the right clinical trial for them. Dory widget has a great UX/UI with a very fluid design that allows the widget to fit snugly within all sorts of spaces and across all types of devices.
PatientPower has significantly increased patient visits to its website using Dory Clinical Finder tool on their website . For example, check out how the tool looks on this webpage: https://www.patientpower.info/chronic-lymphocytic-leukemia/find-clinical-trials
Dory widget on Patient Power website
Carl “Travis” Klimitchek was diagnosed with renal cancer in 2005. After having his tumor and the kidney removed, he turned to MD Anderson for a second opinion where he agreed to participate in a clinical trial. Travis believes this clinical trial saved his life. He now encourages other patients to consider clinical trials by telling them “If you get a chance to try a new drug, by all means, do it. If it doesn’t work, it may still help someone else.”
Donna Fernandez a lung cancer survivor and owner of blogspot MyBattleWithLungCancer saved her life by participating in a clinical trial. She urges her fellow patients to join a clinical trial. “Join a clinical trial! Who knows? The life you save may be your own!!” she writes in one of her blogs.