Intended for healthcare professionals


Cancer trial recruitment fell by 60% last year during pandemic

BMJ 2021; 375 doi: (Published 09 December 2021) Cite this as: BMJ 2021;375:n3044
  1. Gareth Iacobucci
  1. The BMJ

The number of patients with cancer entering clinical trials fell by 60% last year during the covid-19 pandemic, new data show.

In a report published on 9 December the Institute of Cancer Research warned that the decrease was denying thousands of patients the benefits of new drugs and treatments, and it said that urgent action was required to boost participation in trials, change treatment pathways, and streamline regulations.

The report highlighted data from the National Institute for Health Research showing that the number of patients recruited to clinical trials for cancer in England fell to 27 734 in 2020-21, down from an average of 67 057 over the three previous years. Recruitment fell across all cancer subspecialities analysed except brain cancer …

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