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Alert Number 55

Shopping for the Right Therapy

Date: November 9, 2004

If you are like me, at this end of the election process in the U.S.A you have had your fill of sound bites and spin control. How can we make sensible decisions if we do not have accurate and straightforward information without all that spin control?

Electing a president is important, but you get to do it all over again in 4 years. Deciding on the frontline therapy to use when your CLL requires you to act may be even more important - there are no second chances on this decision. Should it be Fludarabine? Chlorambucil? RF (Rituxan + fludarabine)? If RF is good, would RFC be better? How does your particular FISH-y flavor of CLL respond to RF therapy? What should we look for in evaluating clinical trial results? How does one decipher the statistics, bring some common sense to the whole complicated mess?

Cancer patients are very vulnerable, as is the general electorate when threatened by terrorism. Fear makes many people flock to the candidate that promises security, facts and statistics be damned. But it has been my experience that the informed patient and citizen who votes with a better understanding of the issues has a far better chance of making the right choice.

Shopping for the therapy that is right choice for you is no simple matter. Comparisons are not always easy - there is that old problem of comparing apples and oranges. Our latest article on this website, Shopping for the Therapy that is Right for You gives you the straight scoop on some of these important comparisons. This article and several others that we have published in recent months discuss many of the choices available to us today.

Be well,

Chaya
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