Innovation with Purpose—Real Talk about Clinical Trials

After a cancer diagnosis, choosing a treatment becomes critical. It’s vital to understand the medications available. But how do these cancer treatments reach the market? Although the journey begins in the lab, it’s through clinical trials that these medicines become available to patients. 

Clinical trials are research studies performed to evaluate the effectiveness and safety of new treatments, interventions, or tests to prevent, detect, or treat diseases.  They are the final step in a long process that begins with research in a lab. Without clinical trials, new treatments cannot be approved and made available to the public.

People often hesitate to join clinical trials due to a lack of awareness or trust issues, which is understandable. Many are simply not told about ongoing trials, how they operate, their benefits, and their risks. Historical oversights and prevailing myths about the trial process and participant eligibility can also fuel fear and skepticism. Additionally, social and cultural barriers contribute to mistrust and underrepresentation. Addressing these concerns is crucial to ensure that everyone feels included and has the opportunity to consider participation.

Addressing these concerns through better communication, transparent processes, and more patient-centric approaches can help increase participation and ensure that clinical trials are as diverse and representative as possible. Our approach is intentional and mindful of the real people that are affected by not only cancer, but the treatments.  For example, at BeiGene, we listen to patients throughout the drug development process to make sure we consider their needs when designing clinical trials. That is what we mean by “innovation with a purpose”—helping bring affordable medicines to people who need it, regardless of their background, where they live or their financial circumstances.

Clinical trials are not for everyone, however, participating in a clinical trial is a significant decision that can potentially offer benefits not only to you but also help advance medical science. If you’re considering participation, talk to your healthcare provider to understand if a clinical trial might be right for you. 

We believe in having open and “real” conversations—your story, your questions, your concerns matter, and you deserve to be heard.

Let’s Talk About It is our monthly blog series designed to talk frankly about some of the real-life challenges and the resiliency of living with a diagnosis of cancer, as well as to provide resources and empower others. If you have topics you’d like Lisa or guest contributors to explore, please email us with your ideas.  

We believe in you and the power of your story. We thank you for sharing your journey with us and others.

Lisa Marquette Porat, MSW, LCSW, FAOSW is an oncology social worker and the U.S. Lead, Patient Advocacy for BeiGene