Survey of cancer patients finds that the possibility of taking part in clinical trials was not discussed with 43% of respondents

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12th February 2020 18:08 - Pharmaceutical

Survey of cancer patients finds that clinical trial participation was not discussed with 43% of respondents: A survey has found that the possibility of participating in clinical trials was not discussed with 43% of cancer patients, despite the majority of respondents saying they would be interested in taking part. 

The survey titled Patient Power Cancer Clinical Trials polled 666 patients living with cancer - and was the first poll of its kind.  It found that over three quarters of respondents (76%) would be 'very likely' or 'possibly likely' to take part in clinical trials if they were asked, while 13% were undecided. Twelve percent (12%) said they were 'not likely' or 'very unlikely' to participate in a clinical research study. 

The survey also revealed that the majority of patients polled (58%) had already thought about taking part in clinical trials, with 44% actually doing so. 

The research also revealed that in some cases medical teams had discouraged patients from taking place in trials, with some of the reasons given including a lack of available trials in their area as well as concerns around pre-existing medical conditions. 

Of those who did take part, 42% had to travel 100 miles or more to the trial site, while a quarter (25%) travelled between 10 and 50 miles.Thirteen percent travelled 50-100 miles, while 19% had treatment available within 10 miles of where they live. Sixty-five percent (65%) said they did not find the experience a financial burden, compared to 27% which said it was 'mildly financially burdensome' and 7% who said it was 'quite financially burdensome'.

The vast majority (85%) said the trial was clinically beneficial to them.

Andrew Schorr, co-founder and president of Patient Power, said: “While there is a high level of interest among information-seeking patients to learn about clinical trials, this survey showed there is also a bottleneck at the treating physician level. Medical professionals are a patient’s first contact.

“Many are doing a great job, but there’s still room for improvement if we want to accelerate trial enrolment, give patients all of their options, and have hope of faster cures.”

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