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Penn docs find successful strategy to expand patient participation in hard-to-enroll clinical trials
Date:10/23/2013

SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA Clinical trials are key to finding new cancer treatments, but with patient participation hovering around 5 percent, new strategies are needed to boost enrollment, particularly to study the rare cancers that have so few cases. One such strategy comes from a new abstract being presented October 28 at the 15th World Conference on Lung Cancer from researchers at Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania studying mesothelioma.

Results from a willingness to participate study, led by Charles B. Simone, MD, chief of Thoracic Oncology and assistant professor of Radiation Oncology at Penn's Abramson Cancer Center, found that focusing on particular factorsincluding hope for positive outcomes, randomization and altruism and increasing the time spent with patients increased their likelihood of participating in a clinical trial for malignant pleural mesothelioma (MPM), a rare cancer often diagnosed in people who have been exposed to high levels of asbestos.

"Spending time with patients to thoroughly discuss the details, logistics, risks and benefits of enrollment can allow patients to have a better understanding of the proposed study, empower patients, and make them more likely to consider enrollment," said Dr. Simone. "Furthermore, identifying factors that may serve as obstacles to enrollment of a proposed study is critical and can help to tailor the discussion that researchers have with patients to address, substantiate, or alleviate their potential concerns."

The team, including Joseph S. Friedberg, MD, chief of the division of Thoracic Surgery and co-director of the

Contact: Steve Graff
stephen.graff@uphs.upenn.edu
215-349-5653
University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine
Source:Eurekalert

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