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The Benefits of Clinical Trials for Cancer Patients, According to a Survivor

Twelve years after T.J. Sharpe’s successful melanoma surgery, the husband and father-of-two saw the return of his skin cancer. Faced once again with the unexpected realization of mortality after more than a decade of remission, a clinical trial helped ensure Sharpe would see his children grow up. This patient and survivor is helping spread the word about clinical trials, and how they should be an available option for others like him.

The return of Sharpe’s melanoma was accompanied by a predicted life expectancy of less than two years. He was adamant on extending that expectancy, and by the time he made it to his fourth oncologist, he saw that opportunity in a new clinical trial.

“I was the first patient to try it, so there were a few stakeholder companies and pharmaceutical companies that I had to wait for over a month to get the contract approved,” Sharpe said, according to Media Planet’s Future of Healthcare News.

He dealt with the clinical trial bureaucracy by contacting the stakeholders on behalf of himself. This pushed the process forward, and he began the clinical trial, which was a pill treatment. The results were more than promising, and Sharpe remains on the pill treatment to this day in order to monitor his progress.

“Clinical trials should be considered as an option for care in every single case,” Sharpe said. “When it comes down to it, we are all patients at some point, so we should know what all of our options are before making decisions.”

For more on T.J.’s heartwarming story, click here! Sharpe is also contributing blog posts about his experiences. Find out more on that right here.

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