Golf Course Management

MAY 2019

Golf Course Management magazine is dedicated to advancing the golf course superintendent profession and helping GCSAA members achieve career success.

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Page 63 of 141

borhood of three out of a million. Research for treatments is limited, and drug development comes from other cancers in much the same way we in the turf industry get our plant protectants as an offshoot of agriculture, in most cases. Oncologists have told me that I will not die from WM, but I most likely will die with it, so I needed to recognize this condition is chronic and that I am in it for the long haul. With that in mind, I was asked if I might be interested in being part of a clinical trial looking into a possible oral medication to help with the symptoms of WM. Treatment prior to this drug was primarily through infusions. is involved going to a facility and having a drug infused into my blood - stream, which takes over three hours on a good day. An oral medication one could take at home would be a large step forward in the care of WM. After much thought and a bit of research to find out that the trial was in stage-three testing to determine proper dosage levels, I decided to join the trial. is particular drug had been over seven years in development and testing at that time. In a clinical trial, researchers have to set a base line, so they perform numerous blood tests. ere are also strict protocols for taking measure - ments, such as blood pressure, temperature and so on at predetermined times. e entire process took most of a day to go through initially. is was going to be followed by weekly trips to the center — which was over two hours away — for treatments. Expenses were covered by the com - pany that is having the trial. Researchers record subjects' reactions to the drug. It is important to understand that an individual can withdraw from the trial at any time and that it is solely up to their discretion. I was one of a few people on this journey, all of us recording what was taking place. It is also necessary to know that with such a small group of test subjects, there is no placebo in the trial. All of us received the test drug. When the trial began, participants were administered a regime of anti-nausea drugs prior to receiving the drug that was being tested. In my case, the test drug caused several rather unpleasant symptoms, espe - cially diarrhea and severe nausea. e symptoms would develop about four hours after taking the medication and last about a day. Dosages were adjusted and anti-nausea medications added, with little impact on the side effects. At one point, they became so intense that I ended up in an emergency room in Boston. During the trial, my IgMs were coming down, so the medication performed well in terms of working on the target. However, after 16 weeks of the trial and still suffering from the side effects each time I took the drug, I decided it was time to withdraw from the trial. Being part of the clinical trial process enlightened me a great deal. Any condition that befalls any of the participants while in the trial is listed as a possible side effect. If it causes nausea in one participant, diar - rhea in another, someone has heart palpitations or their blood pressure goes up — they all get listed as "possible" side effects. In this case, the Oncologists have told me that I will not die from WM, but I most likely will die with it.

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