8 out of 10 cancer patients anticipate clinical benefit from early phase trials: study

7 Oct 2016

Over 80 percent of cancer patients taking part in early phase 1 clinical trials are motivated by the prospect of a clinical benefit, a UK study reports.

According to the survey of over 300 patients attending a phase I trial outpatient clinic for the first time, approximately half anticipated tumour shrinkage, and approximately a tenth expected a cure.

The authors noted that the rates conflicted with the typical phase 1 response rates of 4% to 20%.

“It is tempting to interpret this as patient misinterpretation of previous discussions with healthcare professionals or a lack of information provided to patients throughout their cancer journey and to conclude that as a result we should inform our patients better” the study authors noted in their study published in Cancer.¬†

“An alternative explanation is that this subset of patients, despite having been exposed to this information, have chosen to maintain unrealistic hope.”

Nevertheless, “this discrepancy demonstrates the challenges facing patients and healthcare professionals during their interactions in phase 1 studies,” they ¬†added.

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