Webinar recap: Painting a portrait of the melanoma clinical trial participant

On June 24, Melanoma Research Alliance’s (MRA) Chief Science Officer Marc Hurlbert and Director of Communications Cody Barnett joined Antidote's Head of Partnerships Lindsey Wahlstrom-Edwards in a webinar to discuss what matters most to melanoma patients when it comes to participating in clinical trials. The conversation, informed by a 2018 study of 444 melanoma patients and survivors, provided actionable insight into what makes patients feel like partners in research and different factors that would motivate their participation.

Watch the full webinar below for a breakdown of the key takeaways from our 2018 research. Here are a few key highlights that Marc, Cody, and Lindsey shared: 

  • Why is feeling like a partner important in a clinical trial? When you feel like a partner in any process, it means that you are invested in what happens. You understand your options, you've made a joint decision with your doctor to move forward with a clinical trial, and you feel good about this partnership.
  • Melanoma patients and survivors want to talk to doctors and nurses involved in the trial. They also want to talk to patients who have gone through this. Marc and Cody explain that anything that improves communication between clinicians, researchers, and patients is going to help improve the care that patients receive while improving our overall research process. Good communication that really allows making shared decisions is key.
  • The survey findings suggest that patients don’t always understand what is involved in a clinical trial or where clinical trials fit into the overall care continuum. One of the ways that MRA tries to address this is through clinical trial-specific resources that include a lot of patient/family testimonials. MRA also has an online community where you can connect with and learn from other patients who’ve been in your shoes. 
  • For many patients, clinical trials are often the best way to get access to experimental therapies that might be even better than anything that is currently on the market. In fact, 89.4% of melanoma survey respondents felt that gaining access to a drug, therapy, treatment, or medical device not otherwise available was important to them when considering taking part in a trial.


Overall, the survey findings suggest that melanoma patients are interested in taking part in clinical trials that research potential new treatments. If this sounds like you or a loved one, you can use our clinical trial search tool below to explore potential trial participation opportunities.