Europeans face significant challenges to participate in lung cancer clinical trials
A survey of patients with lung cancer in several European countries revealed that half did not know what a cancer clinical trial is, and 22 percent had never heard of a cancer clinical trial. The research was reported by Dr. A.M. Baird, on behalf of Lung Cancer Europe, today at the IASLC 2019 World Conference on Lung Cancer hosted by the International Association for the Study of Lung Cancer.
Lung Cancer Europe (LuCE) is the voice of people impacted by lung cancer in Europe. LuCE aims to increase knowledge of lung cancer and provide a platform to raise awareness about disparities in detection, diagnosis, treatment and care across Europe.
Dr. Baird reported that the study was undertaken to gain a better insight into the clinical trial experience from a patient perspective and improve clinicians' and public health's understanding of patients' awareness and attitudes towards clinical trials.
The LuCE team developed the survey and qualitative interview questions based on a review of relevant literature and policy sources.
"We shared our online survey with lung cancer advocates and patients with lung cancer," Dr. Baird said. The organization conducted qualitative interviews with 15 individuals, covering the medical community, representatives from patient advocate organizations and the pharmaceutical industry.
The survey was shared with patients with lung cancer across Europe and those who took part resided mostly in Poland (19.5 percent), Italy (18.7 percent), Denmark (9.9percent) and Spain (9.2 percent).
"Fortunately, over 50 percent of these respondents stated that their trial experience was positive and 80 percent wanted to find out more about clinical trials, while 75 percent believed that it would be beneficial for patients to work together with researchers in the clinical trial development process," she said.
Survey respondents identified several barriers to accessing lung cancer clinical trials, including difficulties in cross-border access, language barriers, lack of accurate accessible information, lack of awareness by patients and clinicians and disparities in access across Europe.
"The lung cancer community must work together to overcome these barriers and ensure access to clinical trials for all people impacted by lung cancer," Baird concluded.