Holding disease at bay
Cossman is one of 16 patients with progressive forms of cancer currently taking part in a study of a developmental drug by the Cambridge, Massachusetts-based Cerulean Pharma. The company hopes to add another 20 patients to the trial in laboratories in Arizona, California and New Mexico.
The test drug is in the second phase of a three-phase process that takes years before the Food and Drug Administration even considers whether to bring the drug to market.
Cossman is one of the tens of thousands of people worldwide enrolled in drug trials. According to ClinicalTrials.gov, there are more than 96,500 trials under way in 174 countries. Cossman learned of drug trials through his oncologist –“otherwise, I’d know nothing about them.”
He wants to make others “aware of head and neck cancer, and that clinical trials are available,” he says. “People need to be aware, though, that they are rolling the dice.”