Voices from the Community: Why I Joined a Clinical Trial

Posted: May 11, 2021

Participants recently shared their varied reasons for joining National Cancer Institute sponsored clinical trials through the NCORP sites. The studies, linked below each participant, spanned prevention, cancer care delivery, screening, treatment, and supportive care.

“I would encourage anyone to get on a clinical trial. I truly believe it saved my life.”

~ Colleen Carpenter

Trial(s): Bevacizumab and Intravenous or Intraperitoneal Chemotherapy in Treating Patients With Stage II-III Ovarian Epithelial Cancer, Fallopian Tube Cancer, or Primary Peritoneal Cancer
NCORP Site: Iowa-Wide NCORP

“I have dedicated my life to serving others, since I was being diagnosed and treated for cancer: I am more aware of people's struggles. Knowing that with my participation in a clinical study I contribute a grain of sand to the well-being of many people… Fills me with great satisfaction.”

~ Miosotis Del Valle

Trial(s): Testing the Addition of a New Anti-Cancer Drug, Triapine, to the Usual Chemotherapy Treatment (Cisplatin) During Radiation Therapy for Advanced-stage Cervical and Vaginal Cancers
NCORP Site: Puerto Rico MU NCORP

“I chose to participate in this clinical trial to do as much as I could to contribute to something that may potentially benefit others in the future. I hope my participation can one day provide researchers and doctors with answers on how to best help future patients!”

~ Payton Dowling

Trial(s): Carvedilol in Preventing Heart Failure in Childhood Cancer Survivors
NCORP Site: Greenville NCORP

“I feel that as an African American we do not participate in programs that could BE and sometimeS ARE beneficial to us. I hope by my participation this will encourage others African American women to be more open. Our health is so important to our family members and our community. I hope this will bring about a change and especially in this area OF BREAST IMAGING.”

~ Marsha Dukes

Trial(s): TMIST – Tomosynthesis Mammographic Imaging Screening Trial 2D vs 3D Breast Cancer Screening
NCORP Site: Greenville NCORP

“When I was first diagnosed with Breast Cancer in 2005, I was focused on my own recovery. When I heard that I could participate in a trial for targeted radiation therapy I jumped at the chance to help other women, and myself, benefit from the latest technology (but the additional layers of surveillance were also a comfort!)”

~ Susan English Fetcho

Trial(s): Radiation Therapy (WBI Versus PBI) in Treating Women Who Have Undergone Surgery For Ductal Carcinoma In Situ or Stage I or Stage II Breast Cancer
NCORP Site: Bay Area Tumor Institute NCORP

“I hope my participation has enabled the NCI to further their important research.”

~ Jennifer Fish

Trial(s): Phase III Trial of Bisphosphanates as Adjuvant Therapy for Primary Breast Cancer
NCORP Site: Bay Area Tumor Institute NCORP

“It was simple and easy. I am happy to be a part of something that may help provide answers for next generations.”

~ Michelle Hanley

Trial(s): TMIST–Tomosynthesis Mammographic Imaging Screening Trial 2D vs 3D breast cancer screening
NCORP Site: Greenville NCORP

“Research is critical to advancing our knowledge and developing new medical treatments. I chose to participate in a clinical trial to hopefully advance science and help others in the future.”

~ LuAnn Harris

Trial(s): TMIST –Tomosynthesis Mammographic Imaging Screening Trial 2D vs 3D Breast Cancer Screening
NCORP Site: Greenville NCORP

“I decided to participate in the clinical trial to help researchers help cancer patients like myself.”

~ Liliana Hernandez-Cruz

Trial(s): Doxorubicin Hydrochloride and Cyclophosphamide Followed by Paclitaxel With or Without Carboplatin in Treating Patients With Triple-Negative Breast Cancer
NCORP Site: Montefiore MU NCORP

“At the very first mention of my cancer diagnosis, all I could think of was “How do I beat this…what’s my best course of action?” A clinical trial was the answer. I had never heard of Multiple Myeloma, so I wasn’t real confident that there would be a trial for me to join. I was so relieved when there was. How could one not benefit from constant monitoring and undergoing extra testing? I have done extremely well and have had no setbacks. I don’t know if I would be in the same spot if it weren’t for the trial. I am so thankful for the doctors and researchers that work tirelessly toward a cure.”

~ LeAnn Holmes

Trial(s): Bortezomib or Carfilzomib With Lenalidomide and Dexamethasone in Treating Patients With Newly Diagnosed Multiple Myeloma
NCORP Site: Iowa-Wide NCORP

“I participated in a clinical trial because I want to help pave the way in research for others to have the opportunity to live comfortably, proudly and happily. Our cancer does not define us—we CAN control our lives. This research helped me and I know that it will help many others out there gain strength and relief.”

~ Latory Jemison

Trial(s): Testing the Effects of Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation (TENS) on Chemotherapy-Induced Peripheral Neuropathy (CIPN)
NCORP Site: Greenville NCORP

“We chose to participate in a clinical trial to give our daughter the best chance of survival and to help find better treatment options for future kids diagnosed with neuroblastoma.” ~ Makenna Lai's Mother

~ Makenna Lai

Trial(s): Irinotecan Hydrochloride, Temozolomide, and Dinutuximab With or Without Eflornithine in Treating Patients With Relapsed or Refractory Neuroblastoma
NCORP Site: Nevada NCORP

“I enrolled in the trial, in part, because I wanted to be able to tell my future patients that, when given the opportunity to participate in a clinical trial, I did so. If I was fortunate enough to survive my malignancy, I felt that my personal involvement in a clinical trial strengthened my endorsement of clinical trial participation for my future patients. Patients should know that the focus of cancer-related investigation extends beyond traditional cancer-related endpoints and into the control of cancer- and treatment-related symptoms.”

~ Alan Lyss, M.D.

Trial(s): American Ginseng in Treating Patients with Fatigue Caused by Cancer
NCORP Site: Heartland NCORP

“I participated to hopefully help others with the research and to prolong my life.”

~ Kimberly McGinnis

Trial(s): Phase III Trial of Bisphosphanates as Adjuvant Therapy for Primary Breast Cancer
NCORP Site: Bay Area Tumor Institute NCORP

“There are many ways we can create a legacy for our family. There are even fewer opportunities to create a legacy for humanity. Participating in clinical trials gives us a chance to do both.”

~ Stephania Pemberton

Trial(s): Increasing Patients' Engagement in Breast Cancer Surgery Decision-Making
NCORP Site: Bay Area Tumor Institute NCORP

“I was lucky enough to participate in a clinical trial, and I would definitely do it again. It’s the reason I’m standing here today.”

~ Howard Reich

Trial(s): Neoadjuvant Chemotherapy Followed by Radiation Therapy and Gemcitabine/Sorafenib/Vorinostat in Pancreatic Cancer
NCORP Site: VCU MU NCORP

“When I was diagnosed at age 45 with breast cancer, I chose to participate in a trial (178 miles away) because I wanted to be part of something bigger – something beyond myself. I am grateful for the volunteers that came before me and I am honored to have played a part in moving research forward.”

~ Nelle Rhicard

Trial(s): Biological and Clinical Effects of Palbociclib With Ovarian Suppression and Letrozole in the Neoadjuvant Treatment of Breast Cancer
NCORP Site: Metro Minnesota NCORP

In English: “I have participated in two clinical trials because I wanted to receive a different type of treatment that is not available to me as standard of care. I am very grateful to God and the doctors and nurses, as I have been treated very well.”

In Spanish: “Participé en dos ensayos clínicos porque quería recibír un tipo de tratamiento diferente que no está disponible para mí como cuidado estándar. Estoy muy agradecida con dios y con los médicos y enfermeras, ya que me han tratado muy bien.”

~ Luz Elena Ronquillo

Trial(s): A Study of VB-111 With Paclitaxel vs Paclitaxel for Treatment of Recurrent Platinum-Resistant Ovarian Cancer (OVAL)
NCORP Site: New Mexico MU NCORP

“I participated in the STAR research study. I did so because I have always heard through research that I may be able to help someone else. Through this study, physician scientists will learn more ways of prevention and treatment. I have a strong family history of cancer, maybe this research will be helpful to the next generation.”

~ Margaret Schweigert

Trial(s): Study of Tamoxifen and Raloxifene (STAR)
NCORP Site: Heartland NCORP

“Living through my sister’s heroic battle with breast cancer and being a woman at high risk, I knew there had to be a better way than “watch and wait”. Prevention became my passion; BCPT my clinical trial to find answers to prevent this disease for my young nieces and all women. Together, through clinical trials, we can prevent breast cancer.”

~ Marty Smith

Trial(s): The Breast Cancer Prevention Trial, where tamoxifen was found to reduce breast cancer risk by half compared to a placebo.
NCORP Site: Cancer Research Consortium of West Michigan NCORP

“I want to participate in the clinical trial to advance our research and technology. I want to contribute in saving our women in the coming generations.”

~ Madhu Sood

Trial(s): TMIST –Tomosynthesis Mammographic Imaging Screening Trial 2D vs 3D Breast Cancer Screening
NCORP Site: National Capital Area Minority Underserved NCORP

“I chose to participate in a research trial to have a little part in helping to find new procedures and treatments to help others. I feel I want to give back, it’s my obligation.”

~ Larry Spivey

Trial(s): Testing the Effects of Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation (TENS) on Chemotherapy-Induced Peripheral Neuropathy (CIPN), Myopenia and Mechanisms of Chemotherapy Toxicity in Older Adults With Colorectal Cancer
NCORP Site: Greenville NCORP

“I participated in this trial because, as an science educator, I understand that clinical trials are vital to advance our knowledge and medical treatments.”

~ Rebecca L. Thomas

Trial(s): Paclitaxel With or Without Carboplatin and/or Bevacizumab Followed by Doxorubicin and Cyclophosphamide in Treating Patients With Breast Cancer That Can Be Removed by Surgery
NCORP Site: Bay Area Tumor Institute NCORP

“I want to be part of something to help improve outcomes for people. If this research makes a difference for even one person, it will be worth it.”

~ Kathy Tucker

Trial(s): TMIST –Tomosynthesis Mammographic Imaging Screening Trial 2D vs 3D Breast Cancer Screening
NCORP Site: Greenville NCORP

“I accepted the offer to be a part of the cancer study since I am young and would love to help other young people facing cancer. I am willing to help any way I can to help make cancer treatments better!”

~ Susan Weninger

Trial(s): Netupitant/Palonosetron Hydrochloride and Dexamethasone With or Without Prochlorperazine or Olanzapine in Improving Chemotherapy-Induced Nausea and Vomiting in Patients With Breast Cancer, Treatment Effects on Development of Chemotherapy-Induced Peripheral Neuropathy in Patients With Cancer
NCORP Site: Greenville NCORP

“I was very excited to participate in this particular trial offered through the Cancer Institute to hopefully improve my chemo induced neuropathy. In being part of this research, I consider it a privilege to give back to those doctors and nurses who gave so much to me during my cancer diagnosis and chemotherapy.”

~ Christy White

Trial(s): Testing the Effects of Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation (TENS) on Chemotherapy-Induced Peripheral Neuropathy (CIPN)
NCORP Site: Greenville NCORP

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