male doctor taking blood pressure of male patient

As a construction engineer and keen sports player, Lindsay spent most of his life in the sun. Like many Australians, Lindsay was diligent about getting skin checks every six months but the damage was done. Lindsay’s clinical trials experience was about to start.

It all started with diagnosis

Often Basel Cell Carcinomas (most common form of skin cancer) were burnt off or cut out until the day there was one strange spot with a serious diagnosis. Squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) (the  second most common form of skin cancer) was on the side of Lindsay’s face.

After four operations and 60 days of radiation the cancer had metastasised and spread through his body. Two years ago, sitting in the office of Dr Warren Joubert at Greenslopes Oncology, Lindsay was given a chance. A new cutaneous SCC oncology trial was recruiting.

After starting the trial Lindsay’s tumours almost immediately began to decrease in size. As long as this trial continues and his tumours keep responding well to treatment, Lindsay’s life can carry on as normal.

“I was really unaware of many trials until I became part of one and it’s an eye-opening experience. I’ve learned a lot,” says Lindsay.

Clinical trials are just that – trials. The regulated assessment of new and emerging treatments for different types of illness and disease. Sadly, not all trials
are successful and not every participant responds well to the trial treatment.

Good results not guaranteed

However, for some people, trials are a way to access new treatment that is under investigation and not yet accessible in Australia. GMRF clinical trials coordinator, Corrine says, “As immunotherapy access for Lindsay’s type of cancer is limited, clinical trials provide a treatment option for the chance of more time.”

Describing the start of his clinical trials experience, Lindsay said, “When you sign up for the trial they give you all the information. You sign your life away going into it but that’s the risk. The risk-reward ratio in my situation is, the reward has outshone the risk.”

Lindsay is one of over 100 people currently participating in trials at GMRF. The Clinical Trial Unit coordinates trials in partnership with Greenslopes Private Hospital, Ramsay Pharmacy and the Cyril Gilbert Cancer Centre.

“Everybody I’ve encountered in the system has been fabulous. From the ground floor up there’s never been a single negative experience – and I work in the building industry!” says Lindsay talking about his experience so far on the trial.

Learn more about our Clinical Trials Unit