Vivienne Parry asks whether patients take part in clinical trials simply to get better or for the common good, hoping for future cures.
Doctors ard patients both want the best chance of recovery from an illness, but when the condition is cancer - and curent treatments have failed - what hope do clinical trials offer? Now that cancer treatments are becoming more individually tailored and effective, is it worth the risk of trying to develop new drugs which may only be slightly better?
Why do patients volunteer for clinical trials - just to get better or for the common good?
Vivienne Parry follows patients and doctors involved in clinical trials.
Cystic fibrosis is the commonest life-threatening inherited disease, affecting many areas of the body.
Vivienne talks to patient volunteers helping scientists to replace the gene at fault.
Vivienne Parry talks to volunteers helping to replace the gene that causes cystic fibrosis
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Vivienne Parry explores the world of clinical trials.
Doctors can offer traditional treatments or places on clinical trials, but, when all else fails, what can patients do for themselves? Vivienne visits a Challenging Pain course run by Arthritis Care in Plymouth and hears how patients are trialling their own pain relieving techniques at home.
Rheumatoid arthritis affects the whole body, but especially the joints, and it can be so painful that a normal life is not possible.
Even the newest 'biologic' drugs - which target individual molecules that cause the inflammation and damage in the joints - don't work for everybody, and so ongoing research is needed.
Patients who volunteer for such studies are closely monitored and often hope for success for future patients, as well as relief of their own pain.
Vivienne Parry asks what patients can do for themselves to relieve pain.