This is one of my writings at another site...Interested in your thoughts here at HW.
I looked into joining studies when I first was diagnosed, and in controlled studies there almost always are control arms that use placebo's or no treatment at all. To me this seems to be overly redundant in many cases. I know that many studies do require control arms in which the patient does not know whether they are receiving the real thing or not because of the mental factor, but we have enough acquired data of placebo cases to accomodate many studies without having to require yet another placebo control arm. The Alberiterone study is one such example. I have a friend who is no longer responding to chemotherapy, and he is trying to go on the Abiraterone study. But he does not know if he will get the drug or not, and he does not need a placebo at this stage of his treatment. We already know what not receiving the drug results will be through other studies. I saw a post on the blog page of TNPCIL that raised hope for a reduction of the need for placebo or no treatment arms, but if it were a vote, mine would be that there does not need to be so many such control arms, and if I have cancer it should be my choice to receive the experimental drug, as we already have enough gentleman who have chosen to watchful wait.
Perhaps maybe what we need is a registry for watchful waiting that has a questionaire of precisely how they are doing so, so that drug campanies and the FDA can pull it's data from there rather than making a study a crap shoot that is gathering repetitive data.
Just my thoughts. What are yours?