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New Book Looks at Clinical Research from the Patient's Point of View
Date:12/19/2007

DEDHAM, Mass., Dec. 19 /PRNewswire/ -- Clinical research volunteer John Cleland has run four marathons, but the race he is proudest to have won was against testicular cancer. Diagnosed with the disease as a college undergraduate, Cleland underwent surgical removal of his testicle and 53 lymph nodes. Three punishing rounds of chemotherapy followed. But when Cleland's cancer spread to his lungs, the 22-year-old's chances for survival looked slim.

Then Cleland's doctor offered one small ray of hope. A clinical trial of a new chemotherapy was beginning and Cleland could be one of the first people to enroll in it. Faced with near certain death and no other viable treatment options, Cleland chose to join the trial.

That was in 1973, and today Cleland, 56, has been cancer free for more than 30 years. The experimental drug he tested has been successfully used on thousands of patients, Tour-de-France winner Lance Armstrong among them, and clinical trials have become the standard launching pad for a growing array of medical advances.

It is for the more than 2 million Americans who participate in clinical research each year that the new book, The Gift of Participation: A Guide to Making Informed Decisions about Volunteering for a Clinical Trial, was published in September. Written by Kenneth Getz, founder and Board Chair of the Center for Information and Study on Clinical Research Participation (CISCRP), the 360-page volume examines clinical research from the volunteer's perspective and answers important questions about this frequently misunderstood field, such as: why clinical trials are conducted; why human subjects are needed; the meaning of informed consent; and how clinical research participants are protected. Practical advice on subjects like insurance coverage, compensation, and tax ramifications for clinical research volunteers also is included.

Getz, who founded the online publisher, Centerwatch, and co-authored the previous book, In
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SOURCE CISCRP
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