Clinical Trials Need Patients to Deliver New Treatments

This opinion essay in the New York Times by cancer patient Stan Collender underscores the need for patients to participate in clinical trials. As Mr. Collender emphasizes, “Clinical trials are the way promising new drugs are tested.” He stresses that by taking part in a clinical trial, “I am not a lab rat. What I am is a patient who needs and is receiving treatment. I’m being seen by one of the world’s foremost experts on my disease.”

This op-ed could have been written by anyone who believes in the power of patient participation. And in lupus the need for more volunteers is just as great. Leading researcher Dr. Richard Furie reports that less than 5 percent of people with lupus participate in clinical studies.

Lupus patient and advocate Kaamilah Gilyard wants to increase those numbers by sharing her positive experience with clinical research.


“I want to take back the power. It makes me feel hopeful on a personal level because I’m helping to do something that could potentially save my own life, and helpful on a general level because I am participating in something that could save lives of other people…I feel strongly that it is especially important for people of color to participate in trials because we are under-represented in most trials.”

Visit to find out about the different types of clinical research and explore opportunities to join a study in your area.