In 1957, a “safe” drug named Thalidomide entered the German market as an over-the-counter sleep aid, and by 1960, thalidomide was marketed in 46 countries, with sales approaching those of aspirin.
Physicians discovered it also helped with morning sickness, and began to prescribe it to pregnant women. Unfortunately, it was later discovered to cause a birth defect called phocomelia – shortened, absent, or flipper-like limbs.
In the US, this led to amendments to require more oversight by the FDA to ensure drugs are safe and effective (that they do what they claim) before they go to market.
The process leading to FDA approval is called Clinical Trials. The process usually takes 8-15 years, and on average only about 9.6% of Phase 1 drugs are approved.
Marianne delves deep into what clinical trials are, why they are important, and a bit about how you can find one.
Want to learn more about clinical trials, or find one applicable to you? Listen to our interview with Deborah Wright, APRN, CNS who works with clinical trials at the Stephenson Cancer Center.
National Cancer Institute (NCI)
- NCI has a database on cancer clinical trials. The database contains most NCI-funded trials as well as other trials from around the world. You can get a list of clinical trials online or by calling NCI’s Cancer Information Service. Based on the information you provide, NCI can find clinical trials that are a match for you. Telephone: 1-800-4-CANCER (1-800-422-6237)
National Cancer Center Comprehensive Network (NCCN)
Many diseases also have clinical trials. The National Institutes of Health has several resources.
- ClinicalTrials.gov searchable registry for federally and privately supported clinical trials conducted in the United States and the world.
- List of Registries by condition – by participating in a registry, participants can agree to be contacted about potential clinical trials or studies. (This is not an all-inclusive list!)
Foundations and Organizations
- Many disease-specific organizations also provide information on clinical trials. For example the ALS Association has a page for clinical trials. Look into the organizations that apply to you; search using keywords like research and clinical trials.
Charlie tells us some interesting ways that people’s estates continue to make money after they died. Does it give you some ideas for your planning?
Marianne was pining for a Michigan favorite from Sanders Chocolates, called Bumpy Cake. Bumpy cake was created in 1913 as “The Sanders Devil’s Food Buttercream Cake.” It is a chocolate devil food cake with rows of buttercream icing (the bumps) draped with chocolate fudge icing.
The legendary Sanders Bumpy Cake.
Sound good? Well, you’re in luck! Marianne found a recipe for us…and it’s dog-approved. Harley!!!
You can find the recipe here. Let us know if you make it. And guard it from canine counter surfers!