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ASH 2021: A Comparative Analysis of Patient Experience and Patient-Doctor Communication in Patients with Lymphoma and CLL / SLL: Clinical Trials Versus Non-Clinical Trials

In science and medicine, information is constantly changing and may become out-of-date as new data emerge. All articles and interviews are informational only, should never be considered medical advice, and should never be acted on without review with your health care team.


Communication is critical among patients, caregivers, and doctors to optimize the understanding of treatment options, risks, benefits, compliance, success, and recognition of adverse reactions.

The authors compared patients’ experiences receiving treatment in the clinical trial (CT) group and non-clinical trial (non-CT) group in this abstract. In addition, they reviewed patients with chronic lymphocytic leukemia/small cell lymphoma (CLL / SLL) and other types of lymphoma.


  • 11,878 respondents were made up of 9,179 patients and 2,699 caregivers took part.
  • Ninety countries were represented.
  • CT patients tended to be older than those in the non-CT group.
  • CLL patients represented 24% of the CT group and 11% of the non-CT group. Other types of lymphoma patients comprised the rest of the study group.
  • 54% more CT patients agreed that they understand what their medicines do when compared to the non-CT group.
  • 47% more of CT patients were confident in gaining information from their doctors than the non-CT group. CT patients were also more likely to understand the advice of their doctor, their treatment plans, and their ability to find reliable information about these issues.
  • CT patients were more likely to agree that they were involved as much as they wanted to be in making decisions about their treatment (58% of CT patients compared to 51% of non-CT patients.
  • 34% of CT patients compared to 24% of non-CT patients talked to their doctors about changing their treatment to better meet their needs.
  • CT patients were 40% more likely to have had good conversations with their doctors about treatment plans and concerns.
  • 70% of CT patients were more likely to express their concerns, and twice as likely to discuss their treatment side effects with their doctors than the non-CT patient group.


Researchers Funmi (Adelekan) Bamigbola (Bachelor of Medicine and Surgery, and Master of Science in Epidemiology) and Lorna Warwick (Bachelor of Arts in Behavioral Education) demonstrated that CT patients were more likely to have better communication and participation in the decision-making process with their treating physicians than non-CT patients.

These findings contradict the misguided notion that patients in clinical trials are “guinea pigs” with no understanding or say in their care. On the contrary, it appears they actually have better communication and involvement than patients in a routine office setting. Therefore, when appropriate, we encourage all those with CLL / SLL to consider clinical trials as a potentially valuable part of their care.


Here is the link to the abstract on patient-doctor communication in CT versus non-CT patients: A Comparative Analysis of Patient Experience and Patient-Doctor Communication in Patients with Lymphoma and CLL-Clinical Trials Versus Non-Clinical Trials

Stay positive and safe. We are all part of an excellent organization for hope, help, and education.

Michael Green, MD and CLL patient