Skypup - put your hat in the ring for this one. Why not? The more colorectal patients the more data, and the better for all of us. I double dog dare you.
Ceebo: re: when to choose a trial. I started trials (this is my second) when the standard chemo drugs stopped working, and I was running out of options. That drove my decision to do this. As you can see from my tag, I've had all the drugs. I'm KRAS wild so can't have vectibix. The only drug I haven't taken is zaltrap, which is an avastin like product and I think is given with other drugs that I"m resistant to anyway. while I"d love a cure, I'm focusing on life extension right now, in increments, and of course quality of life.
You can also go to the clinical trials site directly and search yourself, without an intermediary: www.clinicaltrials.gov This is a global database. You've probably used search engines before - click on advanced search, pick certain terms to search for (i.e. immunotherapy, colorectal, check the box for open studies only, etc). I found several trials in Barcelona Spain - wouldn't that be nice to do during this harsh East Coast Winter??? The titles of the trials are very academic so sometimes it can be tricky figuring out exactly what each one is testing... Even this trial's title does not give the entire picture.
You can certainly research and sign up for trials on your own. I have a very supportive oncologist and if I find a trial that looks interesting, I send it to him and his team first a) so they can interpret the title and tell me what it is all about (!!!), and b) they can tell me if it would be good for me. It helps if your onc team is supportive because they must send paperwork to the research facility.
re: timing. In the "inclusion/exclusion criteria" of the trial announcements, for ethical reasons most require patients to have cycled through standard treatments - you'll have to read these sections carefully to determine eligibility. On the other hand, some of the randomized trials don't want patients to have taken certain drugs, as they are testing new products' effectiveness compared to standard therapies. Each trial is different. For instance, this/the TIL trial says:
"All patients must be refractory to approved standard systemic therapy. Specifically :
Metastatic colorectal patients must have received 5-FU and leucovorin in combination with either oxaliplatin and/or irinotecan,
since level 1 evidence support increase survival with these regimens, compared to 5-FU and leucovorin alone."
I'm going to write a separate post about clinical trials, sharing what I know. Hope it helps people.
RT, 4 liv, 5 lung
2/13 Xeloda 4k mg/d
7/13 DC VAX,1k mg/d metro Xel
11/13 Erbi, Irino
6/14 clinical trial lirilumab, nivolumab
1/15 clinical trial immunotherapy (young TILs)
RT, mets to liv, lung, adrenal, lns