While some urologists interviewed by Urology Times say they keep up on clinical trials and offer them patients, one says that his rural location makes participating in trials difficult both for himself and his patients.
“Sure, patients want to know what is happening on the forefront of urology. We have a relationship with Mass General Hospital in Boston, so we try to inform patients and hook them up with available trials with that institution.
We also take part in trials here-it’s a limited trial population. It’s not everything under the urology clinical trial umbrella, but we have studies locally, particularly for prostate cancer, that patients can take part in here.
It’s important to be connected and part of a wider treatment team. Patients benefit extensively to having access to a multidisciplinary team including clinical trials.”
E. William Johnson, MD, MPH
“Clinical trials are not something I make a priority with my patients. I’ve been in practice for about 40 years, and I’m in a rural area about 100 miles from any tertiary medical center.
I’ve done them in the past, but now it not only would be difficult for my patients to make that kind of trip regularly, but for me to conduct the trial, I would have to travel to get instruction in running the trial. Also, I would need a special technician that specializes in that kind of work, and depending on the trial, I would have to recruit patients for the study. It’s not something just any office can do.”
Han M. Hanafy, MD
“I do my best to keep up with what is going on in clinical trials. Practicing in a rural setting, trials are not as readily available to my patients unless they travel. That presents a logistical issue, but depending on the circumstances, my patient population is pretty willing to travel.
If I’m aware of an applicable trial for a patient, I let the patient know about it and let him decide whether he wants to be referred.
I’ve only been here a year, so it hasn’t come up a lot, but we’ve suggested it occasionally, and we worked with a medical oncologist to set up patient participation, and they’ve been willing to make the necessary trips.”
Bradford Moss, MD
“I absolutely try to keep up with clinical trials, especially because in urology a lot of the diseases we take care of, options are constantly evolving. If you don’t stay on top of that, you can fall into the rut of using older techniques and do a disservice to your patients. I try to keep up with the literature, and news magazines, like Urology Times, are really pretty good about bringing up all the current topics.
Not every patient is interested in trials, and I point out that they are trials, not standard of care, but it’s good to recognize if a patient would fit into a trial. Many patients stick with the standard of care, especially if there’s an excellent cure rate. If it’s less invasive or they have advanced disease, patients are more likely to entertain that kind of trial.”
Peter Zeman, MD