Changing the Face of Clinical Trials

Cancer Today: May 15, 2013

When Douglas Alexander’s prostate cancer showed signs of re-emerging after years in remission, he didn’t have any viable treatment options available. The radiation therapy he’d had when he was first diagnosed with a stage I tumor five years earlier couldn’t be repeated, and surgery also wasn’t an option: Despite rising levels of prostate-specific antigen (PSA), which suggested Alexander’s cancer had returned or spread, his doctors couldn’t find a new tumor on medical scans. So when his oncologist told him about a pilot study testing a cancer vaccine in patients at the National Cancer Institute (NCI) in Bethesda, Md., just 25 miles from his home in Bowie, Md., Alexander, now 63, readily agreed to participate.  Read more