The Healing Power of Clinical Travel

 In Clinical Trials, Colpitts Clinical

When a patient enrolls in a clinical trial, the hope is that they will receive relief from whatever medical condition affects their quality of life. The success of treatments involved in these trials is based on how many people are able to achieve relief, and whether or not the benefits of the treatment outweigh any adverse effects. But when it comes to the benefits of clinical trial travel, there’s usually more than meets the eye.

From a patient’s perspective
One of our patients who works with us at Colpitts Clinical recently shared her experience with clinical travel. Her perspective made us stop and think about how there is so much more to clinical travel than the process of getting a patient from Point A to Point B. In some cases, we’re helping people more than we will ever know.

This patient suffers from an inherited blood disorder that inhibits the production of red blood cells. The disorder causes severe fatigue that often prevents people from partaking in normal daily activities. The patient explained that this disorder is particularly difficult to experience because the afflicted person does not show any outward signs of being ill, but on the inside the patient said they “always feel run-down and so tired I could cry.” As a child, the patient remembers always being last in any physical competitions, like running. Many people wrote off the patient’s tiredness as a result of something trivial, and not a result of a serious disease. Even as an adult, the patient still has to keep a doctor’s note explaining the condition handy so that any medical professional treating the patient will not disregard their symptoms of fatigue.

The patient said that they have experienced relief since partaking in a clinical trial for a treatment that boosts production of an enzyme, which in turn creates red blood cells. The treatment was actually discovered “accidentally” while researching potential cancer drugs. But symptom relief isn’t the only benefit of the patient’s trial experience, they said. Meeting other people who live with the disease was life-changing. The patient said when they first spoke with someone else who has the condition, they both cried tears of relief that someone else “gets it.” They were able to sit on a panel comprised of patients from all age groups to learn how the disease affects people at different stages of life.

The patient also said that traveling for medical care has allowed their family to make the most of the experience. The patient said their daughter is becoming quite the experienced traveler at a young age.

By Kim Parlon

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