The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson's Research (MJFF) will host its first Clinical Trials Fair in Chicago on September 7, 2013,to raise awareness and understanding of local Parkinson's research opportunities among patients, their families and friends, and other interested volunteers.
"We as patients and loved ones have to do something. We are the ones looking for answers, and if we don't raise our hands and start participating in clinical trials, we'll never get to a cure," said Parkinson's patient and trials fair panelist Claudia Revilla. "There are so many opportunities to get involved right here in our own backyard and today's event will feature many opportunities to play a critical role in research which will benefit the rest of the Parkinson's community and future generations."
Clinical trials are a critical step in bringing new treatments to the patients who need them, yet 85 percent are delayed and 30 percent never get off the ground due to a lack of participation, stalling the progress of potential therapies. Though 60 percent of people with Parkinson's disease (PD) say they are willing to participate in a clinical trial, fewer than 10 percent ever do.
In 2012, MJFF launched Fox Trial Finder (www.foxtrialfinder.org), an online platform that connects volunteers with and without PD to clinical trials in their area -- increasing the efficiency of the enrollment process and empowering patients to get more involved in the discovery of new therapies.
At the Chicago Clinical Trials Fair, MJFF CEO Todd Sherer, PhD, will discuss the critical role that patients and their loved ones play in accelerating new therapies by participating in clinical research. Representatives from leading research centers in the surrounding area will also be present to provide information on 23 clinical trials recruiting locally. MJFF staff members and local Fox Trial Finder volunteers will be on site to answer questions about the Fox Trial Finder tool.
"We hope attendees will gain further knowledge about what it means to be a research trial participant and feel empowered to put that knowledge into action. Anyone who attends will have the opportunity to be able to connect with a trial that day or register on Fox Trial Finder to volunteer for other or future trial opportunities," said Claire Meunier, director of clinical trial strategies of MJFF.
The Chicago Clinical Trials Fair will take place from 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. at The Palmer House Hilton Hotel located at 17 East Monroe Street. The event is open to the public and includes free parking and refreshments. For more information, please visit www.michaeljfox.org/chicagotrialsfair. Several more MJFF Clinical Trial Fairs are planned for 2013 and 2014 around the country.