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Cancer clinical trials - Survey evaluating patient participation and acceptance in a university-based Comprehensive Cancer Center (CCC).

Clin. Transl. Radiat. Oncol. 13, 44-49 (2018)
Publishers Version DOI PMC
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Introduction: Prospective clinical trials are essential to translate new therapy concepts or rather any scientific development into the medical routine. Besides a sophisticated trial protocol, the success of clinical trials depends on patient recruitment and participation. Patient recruitment remains a challenge and depends on several factors. To get a current picture of the patients' attitude, we conducted the present survey. Methods: We designed a survey with seven questions, which was given to all oncological patients treated within a timeframe of three months between Mai and July 2017. Participation was voluntary and anonymous. The questionnaire mainly inquires patients' participation in clinical trials in a university-based setting, their attitude towards clinical trials regarding risks and benefits, and their source of information in this context. Results: 771 patients (1:1 male/female) participated with a median age of 61 years (range 18-91 years) with a response rate of 71.5%. Of all, 17.8% (137/771) were participating in a clinical trial. The most mentioned reason was to serve medical progress and cancer research. Out of the patients not currently participating in a trial, 79 (12.7%, 79/623) refusers named the following main reasons: extensive travel time to the clinic, no therapeutic advantage, and too time-consuming. Out of the patients not offered to take part in a trial, 265 (51.0%, 265/520) would participate if offered. Of all patients, 8.3% (64/771) used the clinics' homepage as a source of information, of those 79.7% (51/64) were satisfied with its content. To enhance patient recruitment strategies, we asked how patients wish to be informed about possible trials: More than half (52.0%) of the questioned patients preferred an individual medical consultation with their physician.We further analyzed the trial participation depending on age, gender, unit, and tumor entity. We could show a significant influence of age (p < 0.001) but not for gender (p = 0.724). The trial participation was also significantly associated with the treating unit (p < 0.001) and tumor entity (p = 0.001). Conclusion: Patients are willing to participate in clinical trials. Better information strategies need to be implemented. Physicians need to be aware of running trials within their department and must counseling counsel patients effectively to improve recruitment. Trial concepts should keep in mind patients' needs including an adequate number of appointments, positive risk-benefit profiles, and information material.
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Publication type Article: Journal article
Document type Scientific Article
Keywords Clinical Study ; Clinical Trial ; Oncology ; Patient Participation ; Patient Recruitment ; Surveys
Reviewing status