doctor with tablet talking to patient

Every treatment available today – from common medications like aspirin and cough syrup to all types of chemotherapy – was approved through a clinical trial. Clinical trials are research studies that investigate new therapies to determine if they are safe and beneficial.

Since people with pancreatic cancer often have fewer treatment options compared to other diseases, clinical trials are the best way to access therapies that are new and possibly better than the standard of care. So, PanCAN strongly recommends clinical trials at diagnosis and during every treatment decision. We want to empower all people with pancreatic cancer to explore clinical trials as a treatment option.

And we are here to help. PanCAN Patient Services supports patients and their caregivers at every step of the clinical trial search and enrollment process. We can answer questions and help guide you through any challenges.

1. Get information about your diagnosis and treatment history

Clinical trials have specific eligibility criteria, which means you must meet certain requirements to participate. So, when looking for a clinical trial, it is important to know details about your diagnosis and treatment history, such as:

Your healthcare team can provide you with this information if you do not already know it. This is important information to have at any stage in the pancreatic cancer journey, so we recommend always keeping a personal record of it.

2. Know your treatment goals

Think about your goals for enrolling in a clinical trial:

  • What results are you trying to achieve?
  • Have you discussed goals of care recently?
  • How far are you willing to travel?
  • What potential side effects are you willing, or not willing, to tolerate?

If you know of restrictions up front, it is important to note these early to help narrow your search.

3. Use PanCAN’s resources to find clinical trials

PanCAN maintains the most comprehensive and up-to-date database of pancreatic cancer clinical trials available in the United States. Contact PanCAN Patient Services for a personalized clinical trials search.

The results PanCAN Patient Services provides are grouped and summarized to help you more easily understand and compare options. PanCAN Patient Services is also available to talk through your personalized clinical trials information. Case Managers can provide in-depth details and answer any questions you may have.

Download our “Three Steps to Navigate Clinical Trials.” Fill it out and use it to help guide conversations with your PanCAN Case Manager and with your doctor.

Watch our webinar, “Spotlight on Clinical Trials: A PanCAN Conversation,” featuring PanCAN’s Chief Scientific and Medical Officer, an expert physician-scientist, a PanCAN Patient Services manager and pancreatic cancer survivor.

4. Talk to your doctor about the trials you found

Let your doctor know why you are interested in clinical trials and what you are hoping to achieve. Ask questions and evaluate whether a clinical trial is the right option for you with your healthcare team.

Bring your search results to your next doctor’s appointment. During this discussion with your healthcare team, it is also important to understand and consider the value of each different investigational treatment available through clinical trials.

There are benefits to all therapy types, but some may better meet your individual needs and goals. For example, studies have shown that treatments based on a tumor’s biology may increase chances of success. Biomarker testing may identify specific mutations to help determine if there are therapies to target your tumor. If your trial search results include biomarker-driven therapies, you may weigh these differently than other more general trials.

5. Get more information about the trials that interest you

You or your doctor may reach out to the research nurse or the study coordinator for the trials you are interested in. During these conversations, plan to evaluate and discuss:

  • Next steps to confirm your eligibility.
  • What is required during the trial.
  • Number of visits.
  • Location.
  • Costs.
  • Insurance coverage.
  • Length of the trial.
  • Required testing.

6. Contact PanCAN Patient Services at any point along the way

PanCAN Patient Services is here to help. If you have any questions about how clinical trials work, what to do next or what questions to ask, you can always contact PanCAN Patient Services for more information or support.

Contact a PanCAN Patient Services Case Manager
Contact PanCAN Patient Services today for clinical trials information, a personalized clinical trials search or any other information related to pancreatic cancer.