If you are a primary care physician and you have a patient who has signed on for a Phase 1 cancer clinical trial, there are some very practical things that you can do to make their experience easier. These include:
- Discussing the option of comfort/palliative care.
- Advising the community palliative care providers of your patient’s new course of action.
- Ascertaining from the Phase 1 researchers if your patient’s enrolment nullifies a DNR consent form.
- Contacting the appropriate Health Authority to obtain a connection with palliative care services for your patient. Your patient must comply with the researchers’ requirement that Phase 1 subjects must relocate - to be in the near vicinity of the research facility for the first 30 days of the trial. This might mean that a different Health Authority should be providing your patient’s palliative care needs.
- Making a connection with the Pain and Symptom Management Team working at the Cancer Agency where your patient has enrolled in the Phase 1 trial. Advising your patient of the existence of the Pain and Symptoms Management Team and arrange for a connection to be made with your patient.
- Deciding whether or not you will be accepting lab reports / doctor’s summaries pertaining to your patient during the Phase 1 trial.
- Informing your patient of your decision as to whether or not you will be acting as a medical resource for them during the trial.
- Providing awareness of the additional services available through the local community to your patient during the “away-from-home” period of the trial.
- Informing the patient that portable cylinders (for travel purposes) are available from the oxygen-gas company If you have facilitated providing your patient with an in-home oxygen supply.
- Informing your patient that the oxygen condenser can be moved to their temporary lodgings but arrangements must first be made with the oxygen-gas supply company.
- Informing your patient that a walker or other physical aids can be borrowed from local Red Cross Services during the “away-from-home” period.
You can further support your patient’s effort to contribute to medical science by adding your voice to those of the CMA / CMJ, the ICMJE, and WMA in their call for all clinical trials to be registered on a public registry of clinical trials. Downloading our petition letter and mailing it to the Federal Health Minister is part of the useful support that you could provide.