Pharma Focus Asia

Patient Perceptions Concerning Clinical Trials In Oncology Patients

Authors: A.L. Dias, J.H. Chao, D. Lee, Y. Wu, G.H. Kloecker



Clinical trials are critical to scientifically evaluate promising new therapies in oncology, but patient accrual to these studies is persistently low. Patient preference plays an important role in enrollment in these trials. We performed this survey to evaluate the perceptions of newly diagnosed oncology patients about clinical trials and the reasons why they wish to or not to participate in these trials.


Patients were given a ten question survey reflective of their attitudes regarding clinical trials as a treatment option at their initial visit. The self-directed questionnaire was scored on an ordinate scale from strongly agree [1] to strongly disagree [5].


Clinical trials; Phase 1 trials; Randomized trials; Investigator initiated trials


Ninety three patients were surveyed in the cancer specific multispecialty clinics in an academic center. Our patients expected their providers to discuss all information relating to clinical trials and eligibility at the first visit (65.4% agree and 15.4% neutral, p < 0.0001). Patients felt their privacy and safety would be safeguarded in the University sponsored trials (56.8% agree, and 25.7% neutral, p < 0.0001). Over 80% patients showed their unwillingness to participate in randomized clinical trials (disagree 61%, neutral 19.5%, p < 0.001). Patients also showed less likelihood to participate in clinical trials as a first treatment option (48.7% disagree and 28.9% neutral, p0.0161), but were willing to consider participating in a clinical trial if the conventional treatment failed. Industry sponsored trials, phase 1 trials, investigator initiated trials with the involved tests and time commitment and altruistic reasons did not significantly deviate from the mean preference analyzed using Fisher's exact test analysis.

Citation: A.L. Dias, J.H. Chao, D. Lee, Y. Wu, G.H. Kloecker Patient Perceptions Concerning Clinical Trials In Oncology Patients

Received: 9 March 2016, Revised: 6 July 2016, Accepted: 19 September 2016, Available online: 21 September 2016

Copyright: ©2016 Published by Elsevier Inc. This is an open access article under the CC BY-NC-ND license (


Patients consider the option of clinical trials as important in their treatment, and expect to be informed by their oncologist about such trials. Newly diagnosed cancer patients perceive randomization and first line trials negatively. Since randomization data provides new standards of care and hope for improved treatment, patients and their families must be educated of their importance.

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