Improved Cancer Survival Attributed to Increased Trial Participation

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(ChemotherapyAdvisor) – Recent changes in cancer survival, at the population level, can be directly attributed to increased participation in clinical trials, according to a team of UK-based researchers. This conclusion is based on a study entitled “Population survival from childhood cancer in Britain during 1978–2005 by eras of entry to clinical trials,” which was published in the Annals of Oncology on July 17. 

In this study, the investigators aimed to examine the impact of inclusion in clinical trials on population-based survival for newly diagnosed childhood cancers. “Population-based data were analyzed for 25,853 children diagnosed in Britain during the years 1978–2005 with acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL), acute myeloid leukemia (AML), Hodgkin lymphoma, non-Hodgkin lymphoma, medulloblastoma, neuroblastoma, Wilms tumor, hepatoblastoma, osteosarcoma, Ewing sarcoma, rhabdomyosarcoma and germ-cell tumors,” the investigators wrote. Statistical analyses were performed on these data using Kaplan–Meier survival curves, log-rank tests, and Cox regression.

The investigators reported the following results. “Survival increased significantly during the years 1978–2005 for every diagnostic category; the annual reduction in risk of death ranged from 2.7% (rhabdomyosarcoma) to 12.0% (gonadal germ-cell tumors),” the investigators wrote. “Survival increased steadily between trial eras for ALL (aged 1–14 years) and neuroblastoma (aged 1–14 years), but changed little since the mid-1980s for medulloblastoma (aged 0–2 years), osteosarcoma or Ewing sarcoma.”

Investigators concluded that changes in cancer survival at the population level can be directly attributed to increased participation in clinical trials.


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