A survey of patients with lung cancer in several European nations revealed significant barriers to participation in clinical trials. Half of patients surveyed said they did not know what a cancer clinical trial is, and 22% had never heard of one.

“The lung cancer community must work together to overcome these barriers and ensure access to clinical trials for all people impacted by lung cancer,” noted Anne-Marie Baird, PhD, a lung cancer researcher who presented the findings on behalf of Lung Cancer Europe at the 2019 World Conference on Lung Cancer in Barcelona.

The investigators sought better insight into the clinical trial experience from a patient perspective. They also aimed to bolster clinicians’ and the public’s understanding of patient awareness and attitudes toward clinical trials.

The researchers developed the survey following a review of relevant literature and policy sources. “We shared our online survey with lung cancer advocates and patients with lung cancer,” said Dr Baird. They conducted interviews with representatives in the medical community, patient advocate organizations, and the pharmaceutical industry. Patients were surveyed predominantly in Poland, Italy, Denmark, and Spain.

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Most (80%) respondents wanted to learn more about clinical trials, and 75% believed that patient collaboration with researchers during the clinical trial development process would prove beneficial.

The investigators identified barriers in language, lack of accessible and accurate information, difficulties in cross-border access, lack of awareness among clinicians and patients, and disparities in access across Europe as obstacles in accessing clinical trials.

Reference

International Association for the Study of Lung Cancer. Europeans face significant challenges to participate in lung cancer clinical trials [press release]. Published September 10, 2019. Accessed September 16, 2019.