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A Diagnosis Gamble

For patients who receive a grim health diagnosis of terminal cancer, many are willing to try almost anything to beat it but often the most cutting edge treatments are locked up in trials for years.
 
Britain is taking a new approach to cancer treatment. With a government-led program, the country is making a point of getting newer experimental therapies to the public in half the time it normally takes to get a drug to market. Though some say this program preys on terminally ill patients who are desperate for a miracle, others say it’s fine as long as patients are aware of the potential dangers of taking experimental drugs.
 
One woman who was diagnosed with terminal bone marrow cancer eight years ago was initially told she only had two years to live. After trying these experimental drugs, she’s been able to see her grandchildren be born and live a pretty normal life.
 
The U.S. is nowhere close to having this type of program, though you can find a list of medical trials currently in progress at Clinicaltrials.gov.
 
Would you support a program that easily provides experimental drugs to terminally ill patients, or do you think the trial process is best? [Associated Press]

Posted: 4/18/08