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01.12.2017 | Research article | Ausgabe 1/2017 Open Access

BMC Cancer 1/2017

Access to clinical trials among oncology patients: results of a cross sectional survey

BMC Cancer > Ausgabe 1/2017
Mariko Carey, Allison W. Boyes, Rochelle Smits, Jamie Bryant, Amy Waller, Ian Olver
Wichtige Hinweise

Electronic supplementary material

The online version of this article (https://​doi.​org/​10.​1186/​s12885-017-3644-3) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.



Clinical trials are necessary for the advancement of cancer treatment and care, however low rates of participation in such trials limit the generalisability of findings. The objective of this study was to examine the proportion of medical oncology outpatients in Australia who are invited and consent to participate in clinical trials and the factors associated with this.


A sample of adult medical oncology patients was recruited from three Australian cancer treatment centres. Consenting patients completed two paper-and-pencil surveys; one at the time of consent and another approximately 1 month later. A multivariate logistic regression was conducted to explore factors associated with invitation and participation in a trial.


Thirty-eight percent (n = 146) of the 383 participants reported they had been invited to take part in a clinical trial. Of those invited, 93% reported consenting to participate in the trial, with the majority indicating that they did not regret their decision (89%). Treatment centre and time since diagnosis were significantly associated with being invited to take part in a clinical trial. None of the factors examined were associated with clinical trial consent rates.


The main barrier to clinical trial participation is not being invited to do so, with the centre the patient attends being a modifiable determinant of whether or not they are invited. Increasing the resources available to treatment centres to ensure all patients are offered participation in trials they are eligible for may help to improve rates of trial participation.
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