Conclusions

Randomized controlled trials are the gold standard in evaluating new cancer therapies. To evaluate new treatments in a timely fashion, and to make progress in treating cancer, trials will almost always need to recruit a large number of patients over relatively short periods of time. Yet, only a small proportion of eligible patients are currently included in trials. A major challenge is therefore to find innovative ways of increasing the number of people who take part in trials. Much of this effort needs to be directed at the clinical community, to persuade more doctors to become involved with research and to invite greater numbers of potential participants to take part in trials. Greater training in communication may be of value to such doctors in order that they are more able to discuss trials and related issues with their patients. Researchers also need to review the ways in which clinical trials are presented to potential participants and we need to undertake further research into alternative methods of inviting patients to volunteer for trials.

Greater and more appropriate communication with those who take part in trials is also needed. Participants need clear information about the reason for the trial, how it will operate and how it may affect them, through good communication with their medical practitioners and by clear and informative literature produced by trialists. Written trial materials need to be produced in patient- friendly formats that can be easily understood by the majority of cancer patients. This is probably best done in collaboration with patient groups or representatives. Investigation of and implementation of appropriate ways of providing feedback on trials to participants is also urgently required.

There is also a clear need for much wider debate to educate the public about the meaning of randomization and clinical trials, ideally before they are in the situation of coping with the news that they have cancer. But, we need to go beyond this, and involve the public more fully in understanding the role of trials and in setting research agendas. This consultation process should not merely be seen as lip service or window dressing, it is a two way process, and one from which researchers and trials can benefit. If trials are ultimately to succeed in changing clinical practice and improving patient care, then they should be relevant to the patient group they serve. Trials must address relevant questions and endpoints and explore treatments that patients would be willing and able to tolerate. Although involving patients in designing trials may add to the burdens of the trial development process, which is already regarded as lengthy and cumbersome by many, we must bear in mind that the conduct of clinical trials is not an academic pursuit in itself, and that this involvement may ultimately lead to more successful trials. The challenge is to find a practical way to forge positive relationships with members of the public. It is to be hoped that, armed with the appropriate information, very many more people will decide to participate in clinical research. Indeed, if the public becomes sufficiently well informed about the need for trials and their role in medical progress, they may well become powerful allies in lobbying for an increased research effort in trials.

10 Ways To Fight Off Cancer

10 Ways To Fight Off Cancer

Learning About 10 Ways Fight Off Cancer Can Have Amazing Benefits For Your Life The Best Tips On How To Keep This Killer At Bay Discovering that you or a loved one has cancer can be utterly terrifying. All the same, once you comprehend the causes of cancer and learn how to reverse those causes, you or your loved one may have more than a fighting chance of beating out cancer.

Get My Free Ebook


Post a comment