#CureChat: A Conversation with Jack Whelan about Clinical Trials

If, as a patient, you’ve never been a part of a clinical trial you might wonder what it’s like to make the decision to join one. You might also wonder what it’s like to participate in one. Beyond that, you might wonder what skills you might need, or what it takes to advocate for yourself to make themost of the journey. 

We’ll explore those questions and more on this month’s #CureChat, as we go behind the scenes with Jack Whelan, inspiring ePatient, Survivor and Advocate.  Diagnosed with an incurable blood cancer (Waldenstrom’s Macroglobulinemia, a rare type of Non Hodgkin’s Lymphoma) in 2007 and subsequently with metastatic prostate cancer, Jack is a veteran of clinical trials (he has participated in six clinical trials).

Jack Whelan

Jack Whelan

After it became clear that traditional treatment for his blood cancer was not working, Jack worked alone and with his medical team to explore clinical trials. Passionate for information and innovation, and determined to take charge of his health, he told CancerToday “I wanted to try a different, less toxic approach through clinical trials.”

Jack understands the realities of his blood cancer as he has repeatedly relapsed and has been refractory to most of the therapies received thus far; however his goal is repeated periods of progression free survival during which the promise of science and delivery of successful therapeutics will be achieved.

His website is located at Jack-Whelan.com

Chat Topics:

T1. Jack Whelan’s Story:

In the first part of the chat, we’ll yield the floor to Jack who will tell us his remarkable story 140 characters at a time. Then we’ll move on to the discussion to explore the following topics:

T2. What’s so great about clinical trials?

On his websiteJack says: “Using genetic and genomic information to develop new disease-specific targeted therapeutics might be safer and more effective treatment than conventional chemotherapy. “ We’ll explore the reasons behind his assertion, as well as questions including: 

  • Does this apply to all cancers?
  • How to find out if this pertains to your cancer (things moving so fast in research… where to go to find outif yr doc doesn’t even mention CTs to you?)

T3. How do you talk to your medical team about clinical trials?

  • What if your doctors don’t bring up the topic of Clinical Trials?

T4. How do you make the decision to enter or leave a trial?

  • How do you evaluate if this is a risk worth taking?
  • How to compare the offered clinical trial protocol to the standard of care?
  • How to decide of it’s time to leave the trial?
  • Who can help you make these decisions?

T5. What’s missing for patients around clinical trials?

  • Exploring what is a patient-centric trial, versus a research-centric trial.

Join us for this special #CureChat on Thursday at 1 pm ET.

Get started and a Cure Forward Clinical Trial Navigator will help you access active clinical trial options.

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