Re "Agency cutbacks put hope on hold" (Page A1, Oct. 9): The article told of a local woman who has become a media celebrity and said, "she needs a clinical trial to save her life."
That is a completely irresponsible statement and does a disservice to researchers and to the participants in clinical trials. A clinical trial is is that -- a trial of an experimental therapy. Clinical trials are conducted only on those patients for whom conventional therapies have proved ineffective. They are experiments and the outcome is, by definition, unknown.
To imply that a clinical trial assures survival not only impugns your credibilty, it cruelly creates a false hope among potential trial subjects that participation promises a cure.
-- Gary Roberts, Davis