Clinical Trials Helped One Woman's Fight Against Cancer

And new tool for finding the right match may help others get novel treatments

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Barlow's fight highlights the potential value of a new system to help people more easily access clinical trials, both near and far from home.

A new Internet resource, MyClinicalTrialLocator.com, has just been launched to make it easier for people to find clinical trials that fit their needs.

Dr. Bruce Moskowitz, an internist in West Palm Beach, Fla., gave $100,000 from the Bruce and Marsha Moskowitz Foundation to help support the development of the free website.

"We made this site to be easy to use and understandable to anybody: patient-centric, not doctor-centric," Moskowitz said. "Hopefully, anyone will be able to receive help if they need it."

The website is designed to help visitors search for trials available by medical condition, treatment, location, medical center or other terms. It's accurate, updated frequently and includes information from clinicaltrials.gov (sponsored by the U.S. National Institutes of Health) and academic medical centers, Moskowitz said.

The site offers information about clinical trials worldwide, provides a mapping function to pinpoint the location of a trial and will notify users when trials matching their needs become available. It also allows patients to email clinical trial researchers directly, and academic medical centers can update and correct information on the site in real time.

Despite her many challenges, Barlow thinks clinical trials will help extend her life. "I know this drug won't work forever. But there will be other drugs out there, drugs [that are now] in the early stage of development, and when I need them, I'll switch to those drugs," she said. "The answers are out there; it's just a matter of researchers finding them."

More information

Visit the U.S. National Library of Medicine to learn more about clinical trials.

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