Thank you, Alexandra, for getting back to us. It's a great search engine, needed since so long, for all those interested only in immunotherapies for cancer.
CRIAlexandra wrote:We received 14 inquiries in less than 24 hours! (To put that into context, we had only received about 30 trial requests for all cancers combined in the 1½ weeks since launching the new site and trial finders.)
Guess the colorectal cancer community is a really bad-ass one!
Gloria, I'm on the same boat --how do you know what's a good one? That's why I liked this CRI finder --you get to 'talk' to someone, and at the CRI they are knowledgeable at, precisely, immunotherpies. The other thing that I'd do is, of course, take all that information to your oncologist, or ask her/him to get in contact with the CRI people. They will be able to discuss the science.
Beyond that... I'd would post here, to see if someone has first hand information, know someone in that trial, etc.
Also, this is what I do, for more specific results in the searches:
Search the name of the agent/therapy inGoogle Scholar
(so you get 'serious' results and don't end up in howIbeatmycancereatingpeppers dot com, 'we accept Paypal', blah blah... you get the idea.
(for abstracts or citations, some full texts)PMC (PubMed Central®)
(for free full texts)
Hope that helps.
In the link that Alexandra posted, there are some interesting 'tips'; I'm copying them here:
What Should I Look For?
The following are some of CRI's recommendations for when evaluating clinical trials of investigational cancer immunotherapies. For help on interpreting information found in clinical trial records, go to http://clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/help/how-read-study
● Although you are guaranteed to receive experimental treatment in phase I trials, the agents being tested in these trials have not been fully evaluated for safety and you may not receive the optimal dose. In randomized, later-phase (phase II and III) trials, the safety of the treatment has been established and it may have shown signs of clinical efficacy. In randomized trials, however, you are not guaranteed to receive the treatment under investigation.
● CRI believes that immunotherapies that combine different agents that target or modulate different mechanisms of the immune system represent the most promising treatments currently in development. Therefore, we recommend clinical trials of combination regimens involving multiple immunotherapies or an immunotherapy with another kind of treatment, such as chemotherapy, that may enhance the anti-cancer effect of the immunotherapy. One exception to this recommendation is in the case of checkpoint blockade or similar immune modulating therapies. These have shown promising and sometimes dramatic results as monotherapies in a subset of patients. Moreover, many of these are very new in development and may not be available in combination regimens.
● Vaccines that use short peptides of antigens have historically shown poor results. If you can determine the form of the antigen used, CRI recommends trials of therapeutic vaccines that use protein or long peptides, the latter of which may be preferable over the former, although additional studies are warranted.
You can also read this booklet
by the American Cancer Society (even if they are not too enthusiastic).
Of course, I would ask what one can expect in terms of side effects, results (in quality of life, in time), how is the therapy administered (oral, infused, what schedule), to see if that's OK with you. Well, all the kind of things one should ask about chemotherapy, radiation or any other treatment.