Getting Ready for a Clinical Trial

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Topics include: Treatments and Understanding

Sam Vafadar, a Physician Assistant, works with patients during their clinical trials. He does the preliminary medical examination to check the patient’s vitals, and checks during clinical trials as well. He wants to make sure the body is receiving the treatment well, and respond to the patient if the body is experiencing side effects. Sam explains how communication is very important during these trials, and encourages his patients to contact him for absolutely anything. Sam Vafadar’s care shows just how closely monitored patients are during clinical trials. 

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Transcript

Please remember the opinions expressed on Patient Power are not necessarily the views of our sponsors, contributors, partners or Patient Power. Our discussions are not a substitute for seeking medical advice or care from your own doctor. That’s how you’ll get care that’s most appropriate for you. 

Andrew Schorr:   

Now, let’s say you enter a trial.  So here’s the doctor who is head of the department at either of these institutions wherever you go.

And then there’s Sam. So, Sam, if I’m in a trial and you’re the research institution, I get to see you and talk to you a lot, and you’re looking at me really carefully, right?

Sam Vafadar:      

That’s right, yes.

Andrew Schorr:                  

So for instance, Tony, dealing with side effects, you want to know about it.

Sam Vafadar:      

Absolutely.  And like I said before, no matter how small the patient might think it is, oftentimes they’ll kind of brush it off and say, “I’ve always had some measure of that particular symptom, but it’s gotten a little worse over the past few weeks.”

Like I said, even if it’s just setting their mind at ease that in and of itself can make them feel a whole lot better. And, of course, on the opposite end of it is if it is something severe, which requires emergent care, then we want to hear about it as well. 

Andrew Schorr:                  

Okay. And so you want people to call you.

In other words, there are a lot of people, men, we kind of grin and bear a lot.  Maybe we were the one with the cough for a long time and didn’t go to the doctor or whatever it was. Maybe it was our wives or others, I think men are a little more guilty about it. But whether male or female, you want to hear from them.  Communication is a good thing, right?

Sam Vafadar:      

Yes, definitely.  And sometimes, you’ll hear from me if I don’t hear from you. 

I want to make sure that they’re doing well, especially if they came in with a new symptom, follow-up is important.

Andrew Schorr:                  

And I mentioned, I was in a clinical trial for something totally different, for a blood clot in my leg. And there was a research nurse and a physician assistant who looked at me and then actually found another issue. So you’re actually looking at people very carefully, right?

Sam Vafadar:      

That’s right, yes. And it’s not just about, for instance, an exam before a clinical trial listening to your lungs or your heart. 

We make sure to do a thorough examination before you start a clinical trial, because there could be an issue that was not mentioned in the records before.

Please remember the opinions expressed on Patient Power are not necessarily the views of our sponsors, contributors, partners or Patient Power. Our discussions are not a substitute for seeking medical advice or care from your own doctor. That’s how you’ll get care that’s most appropriate for you. 

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Page last updated on April 3, 2017