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Patient Power, which delivers patient-powered journalism, information and opportunities to engage with and connect to the cancer community, reports that results from the first Patient Power Cancer Clinical Trials Survey show that the majority of patients surveyed were interested in taking part in clinical trials. The survey also found that patients who participated in clinical studies-some of them in more than one-found them to be of clinical benefit. However, a little under half of the patients stated that their medical care team had not discussed clinical trials with them, and when patients brought the subject up, often participation was discouraged.
The study results were reported in a keynote speech by Patient Power Co-Founder and President, Andrew Schorr, at the Global Oncology Site Solutions Summit, in Austin, Texas, on January 31st. Schorr, living with two blood cancers, has participated in two clinical trials himself. Patient Power, which urges patients to become educated on all treatment options, including trials, from diagnosis on, also calls for medical professionals to consider clinical trials as vital potential options that should have a place in all treatment discussions.
“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 enrollment, give patients all of their options, and have hope of faster cures.”
The survey, conducted between mid-December and mid-January and with 666 patients with cancer responding, showed that 50% of respondents were “very likely” to participate in a clinical trial and 26% were “possibly likely.” In addition, 58% of patients considered participating in a clinical trial, and 44% actually did. 57% of respondents who “were likely” or “possibly likely” to participate in a trial reported that their medical team had discussed it at some point during their care. The majority of those (65%) who did participate in at least one trial reported that it was not financially burdensome, and 85% they believe they gained a clinical benefit. However, 43% of all patients surveyed reported that clinical trials were never discussed with them as an option by their medical teams.
To view the survey, go to: http://bit.ly/PatientPersp