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85% of patients see benefit in clinical trials, but 43% were never given the option to participate, report finds

Published on 07/02/20 at 12:39pm

Patients regularly find value in participating in clinical trials, but many are not given the option by medical professionals and some were outwardly discouraged form taking part, says a new report from Patient Power, a media organisation providing “patient-powered journalism, information and opportunities”.

The results of a survey of 666 cancer patients were presented at Global Oncology Site Solutions Summit in Texas on 31 January by Andrew Schorr, Co-Founder and President of Patient Power.

They revealed that half of respondents said they were “very likely” to participate in a clinical trial while a further 26% were “possibly likely”. 44% of participants had already taken part in a trial, while 58% had considered it.

Of those who had participated, 65% said it was not financially burdensome, with 85% seeing a clinical benefit. But 43% of the total respondents were never offered a discussion of the option to participate with their medical professionals.

"In this age of chronic cancer and an explosion of clinical trials, many of them addressing different cancer stages, from treatment-naïve to late-stage, it has never been more important for patients to ask about clinical trial options, and for medical staff to bring them up in treatment conversations, even if there isn't a trial locally," said Andrew Schorr, Co-Founder and President of Patient Power. "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."

Matt Fellows


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