Re: it still amazes me that
I'm still of the belief that if someone prefers the RTT to being in a clinical trial, Doctors can find a reason that person isn't eligible to be in the trial. I believe the biggest reason people of means do this is the random chance that they'll not get the experimental treatment, and they really won't know it. People who want to be in control of everything will do what they believe necessary to gain that control. This of course also includes traveling to other countries where therapies not available in the U.S. are available.
I think RTT is a step in the right direction, but I also believe that historical data for SOC treatment should be adequate for establishing trial goals to the point where all entering trials know they're getting the trial drug. That IMHO in itself wouldn't assure that all went for the trial, but it would answer that criticism. I believe that those who have the funds needed to do anything they wish would still prefer RTT as they wouldn't be forced into a pre-established trial protocol. Under RTT, essentially any protocol agreed to by Dr. and patient could be implemented, just as it could after a product is approved, that's not the case in a clinical trial.
I believe the development of treatments for prostate cancer was greatly accelerated when Michael Milken developed it, even though he was in prison at the time, as I remember it. He paid for the development, and he benefited from the treatment. I'm uncertain if today he's cancer free, or still being treated, but he's certainly still alive.
Whether it's RTT or other things, if cost is no consideration I believe there are ways that people gain access to treatments not otherwise available, but they may have to go outside the U.S. to do it. Top American Doctors are working in foreign hospitals because they can better benefit their patients there, and the hospitals they operate in are 5 star rated. 60 minutes did a substantial story on this some time ago. I think it's time for the FDA to open up American Institutions to such experimental treatment as long as patients accept the potential risks of taking such treatment.
Life has no guarantees, but I suspect that if you had 100 patients and all were told the SOC could give them 1 to 5 years, but no more than that, but an experimental treatment had a chance of a cure, but could kill them in well under a year, a fair percentage would choose the experimental treatment that had higher risk, but potentially a greater reward. I personally felt comfortable with that choice in choosing stem cells, which had a greater risk for someone at my age, I met people at City of Hope who were my age or older undertaking treatment there because top flight medical facilities had refused to do stem cells at their age. My Oncologist actually advised against doing it immediately, until I gave him more evidence of the likelihood of coming out of remission within 3 years if I didn't do it.