April 1, 2019 – Clinical Trial Participation
Anchor lead: What are the barriers to clinical trial participation if you have cancer? Elizabeth Tracey reports
It can be really hard to participate in a clinical trial for cancer therapies, even if you want to. That’s according to a recent study examining barriers to such trials. William Nelson, director of the Kimmel Cancer Center at Johns Hopkins, describes the findings.
Nelson: Fifty-six percent of the time there was not a clinical trial available for the particular person and their cancer and its stage of progression. Twenty-two percent of the time the person wasn’t eligible for participation in the clinical trial, usually that ineligibility was they were at the wrong stage of disease or they had what is often called comorbidities, there’s a heart problem or a kidney problem, something like this that rendered them ineligible for participating in the trial. That’s almost three-quarters of the people where there’s a structural barrier to participation. :30
Nelson says many efforts to both expand entry criteria and engage community hospitals more in clinical trial research should improve access, and notes that very good clinical care also accompanies clinical trial participation. At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.