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Participation rates similar for Black and White patients, treatment and cancer control trials

More than half of patients offered participation in cancer clinical trials are willing to participate, according to a study published online Oct. 6 in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute to coincide with the ASCO Quality Care Symposium, held virtually from Oct. 9 to 10.

Joseph M. Unger, Ph.D., from the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle, and colleagues conducted a systematic review and meta-analysis to examine clinical trial participation among cancer patients. A total of 35 studies were identified including 30 treatment trials and five cancer control trials; 9,759 patients were offered trial participation.

The researchers found that 55 percent of patients agreed to enroll in trials. There was no difference in participation rates between the treatment and cancer control trials (55.0 versus 55.3 percent; P = 0.98). The rates of participation were similar for Black and White patients (58.4 versus 55.1 percent; P = 0.88). Treatment choice or lack of interest were the main reasons for nonparticipation.

“These findings dramatically underscore the willingness of cancer patients to participate in a trial if one is offered. The findings also stand in stark contrast to the commonly cited statistic that only 5 percent of adult cancer patients participate in trials, a statistic which fails to reflect the many structural and clinical hurdles that stand in the way of trial participation for most patients,” the authors write.

Several authors disclosed ties to the biopharmaceutical industry.

Journal of the National Cancer Institute


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