How the government shutdown is now affecting cancer trials - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

How the government shutdown is now affecting cancer trials

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It is frustrating enough when a government shutdown affects your job, but imagine, if in the process, it also brings a halt to something that could save your life.

That's the heartbreak for many who were hoping to benefit from federally funded clinical trials. While the political debate continues on Capitol Hill, future medical research may be in trouble.

Since the National Institutes of Health cannot begin new studies, and has stopped enrolling new patients, which was once an estimated 200 a week.

"When you're given a terminal diagnosis, each month counts," says Michelle Langbehn a cancer patient.

"This could be the miracle drug. You know this could be the one that save me that I was gonna be able to walk my daughter down the aisle," says Leo Finn, a bile duct cancer patient

Patients already involved in clinical trials will continue to receive treatment. But with much of the NIH staff forced off the job right now, it is difficult for hospitals to consult with their colleagues at the NIH for lab analysis.

The longer the shutdown lasts, the longer important clinical research will continue to be shelved, which could eventually have a major impact on patient care.

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