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Alert Number 72

Dr. Hamblin Speaks Out

Date: January 28, 2005

We are delighted that Professor Terry Hamblin accepted our invitation to write this full length article exclusively for readers of CLL Topics. Here is a link to access this must-read article, Are We There Yet? subtitled with another compound question FCR: Is It a Cure?

Dr. Hamblin needs no introduction to CLL patients. In this article he discusses criteria for initiating treatment as well as what treatment can and cannot do for the CLL patient. We heartily second his call for Randomized Controlled Trials (RCTs) to answer many important questions that have been left unanswered by phase II trials. Anecdotal information or skimpy information from statistically under-powered studies with inadequate controls will only slow down the development of real therapeutic options with well understood risk/reward profiles. Dr. Hamblin makes a strong case for randomized controlled trials. We would also add a plea to the researchers: prompt publication and full disclosure of all clinical trial results are very important to us, and are, in our opinion, the only acceptable and ethical standards for clinical trials involving human subjects.

We are grateful to Professor Hamblin for this assessment of where we are in the campaign to cure CLL. Candid assessments such as this are important. How else will we get a fix on where we are, how far we have come, and how much further we need to go?

Be well.


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