Rose Gerber: Keep the Patient in Mind During Clinical Trials

May 13, 2019

Rose Gerber, director of patient advocacy and education for the Community Oncology Alliance, discusses the importance of patient education in encouraging clinical trial participation, as well as the importance of trials being patient centered.

Rose Gerber, director of patient advocacy and education for the Community Oncology Alliance, discusses the importance of patient education in encouraging clinical trial participation, as well as the importance of trials being patient centered.

Transcript

How important of a role does education play in encouraging clinical trial participation?

I think the education component is really important because when a patient is sitting in front of their doctor and they’re just having that simple dialogue, it’s building trust. Pretty much the entire population sees an oncologist or any doctor as a very competent individual. So, when they’re sitting there and their doctor is telling them about all the risks and benefits of a trial, I think that starts to put the patient’s mind at ease.

While clinical trials are important for collecting data on a drug, why is it important to make sure that trials are patient centered?

I think patient centricity is something that’s a buzz word right now, but really what it means is we really want to make sure that even though scientists have their goals and the goal of testing a new drug is to determine the outcomes, we need to remember there is a real live person this drug is being tested on and the person is not a robot; this is someone with a heart, feelings, emotions, and fears. Especially when you’re newly diagnosed, that’s when you’re the most vulnerable. So, anytime there’s a group of people planning a research study, whether these are the researchers or the oncologist, you need to really think of the patient because that’s actually who it’s going to impact—a real life human being.