“Thank you for your efforts to make miracles happen,” Keith Eaton, a leukemia cancer survivor and physician, told attendees at the Association of Clinical Research Professionals (ACRP) 2017 Meeting & Expo in Seattle this morning.
Clinical trial professionals follow a higher calling and should be proud of their industry and their achievements, he affirmed. “Clinical trials are people’s hope when there are no standard options.”
Eaton’s story, a personal medical rollercoaster of emotions tinged with fear and hope, started in November 2012 when he began to feel fatigue and chest pain. After diagnostic tests revealed he had leukemia, he was given a less than 5% chance of survival.
Eaton went through multiple rounds of chemotherapy before receiving CAR T-Cell therapy, which reduced his cancer to undetectable levels. He later went through a stem cell transplant and has since resumed his active and healthy life.
“Dr. Eaton’s is an inspiring story on so many levels,” said Jeff Kingsley, DO, MBA, CPI, FACRP, CEO of IACT Health and the 2017 Chair of the Association Board of Trustees for ACRP, introducing the speaker. “I hope his incredible journey can help us all attain a better sense of what it feels like to be a clinical trial subject.”
“We joined this profession to help people live longer, more active lives,” Kingsley said before Eaton’s remarks. “We have so many tools and best practices to advance that mission. But the bedrock of this effort is to understand the hopes and fears of clinical trial subjects throughout the process.”
The work of clinical trial professionals, “taking care of patients, helping them get through clinical trials, increasing our knowledge base—this is work that has intrinsic meaning,” Eaton said. “And you can all feel good about that.”
Author: Michael Causey