- Question from Annie: What is the "gold standard treatment" to have for chemo? I live in England and there are two trials for me to think about before I start next week.
Jennifer Griggs, M.D., M.P.H.
I always tell my patients that the gold standard is both personalized and ever-changing. So what we considered the gold standard two years ago may change today because of clinical trial. If a clinical trial is offered to you, you can trust that your physician does not actually know which is the best treatment—thus the need for the clinical trial.
In terms of deciding between the two trials, some of this may depend upon your approach to your treatment. Some women will choose a trial comparing two "aggressive" treatment strategies. Other women want to have as little treatment as possible. Make sure that you are comfortable before you participate in a clinical study. Sometimes obtaining a second opinion can help you make a decision as well.
- Marisa Weiss, M.D. It's reassuring to know that there are many different options that represent today's "gold standard." But it's also true that having a lot of options can feel overwhelming and confusing.
- Jennifer Griggs, M.D., M.P.H. You should make sure that you spend time with your physicians understanding the purpose of the trials, the goals of therapy, and what about your particular situation makes the trial right for you.
The Ask-the-Expert Online Conference called Chemotherapy Updates featured Jennifer Griggs, M.D., M.P.H. and Marisa Weiss, M.D. answering your questions about advances in chemotherapy treatment: different types of drugs and regimens, how to reduce or eliminate unpleasant side effects, and more.
Editor's Note: This conference took place in February 2002.
The materials presented in these conferences do not necessarily reflect the views of Breastcancer.org. A qualified healthcare professional should be consulted before using any therapeutic product or regimen discussed. All readers should verify all information and data before employing any therapies described here.
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