Research News

Cancer patients have unrealistic expectations of taking part in trials, UK study finds

BMJ 2016; 354 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.i5321 (Published 30 September 2016) Cite this as: BMJ 2016;354:i5321
  1. Michael McCarthy
  1. Seattle

More than 80% of UK cancer patients considering participating in a phase I drug trial do so anticipating clinical benefit, a study has found. Researchers at the Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust and the Institute of Cancer found that about half of patients expected to see their tumour shrink and that one in 10 hoped for a cure, even after consultation with specialists.

But response rates in such trials, which are usually reserved for patients with cancers that no longer respond to standard treatments, are typically far lower, ranging from 4% to 20%, and the median survival time of such patients is only six months, the researchers noted.

Phase I …

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