Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Alternative medicine use might be affecting the results of trials

From here.

At issue is whether remedy-drug interactions are skewing the results of Phase I cancer trials. At present, this is hard to determine because it is hard to elicit (alternative) remedy use. To me, it's pretty clear that having remedy use out in the open is better than being secretive. However, what's interesting to me is the following, surveyed from 212 patients with advanced cancer enrolled in Phase I clinical trials:

  • 72 (34 percent) use alternative remedies, similar to general US population usage
  • 41 (19.3 percent) take vitamins and minerals
  • 40 (18.9 percent) take herbal preparations
In addition, we have the following:

Sometimes, patients are reluctant to tell the doctor they are taking
alternative medicines, either because they don't think it's important,
or they don't want to be told to stop taking them, Daugherty said.


And, since it's often difficult to get cancer patients to take part in
phase 1 trials, some researchers may be reluctant to turn any potential
patient away. "In addition, most doctors don't know very much about
alternative medicine," Daugherty said.
For research, I think these matters need to be out in the open. For one thing, we need to understand our drugs we are developing. For another, we need to understand the alternative remedies.

Technorati Tags: ,