A study conducted by researchers from the University of Colorado Cancer Center found a decline in the enrollment of patients in pediatric oncology clinical trials.
The findings revealed that patient enrollment dropped to 19.9% in the current study, from 20-25% in the early 2000s and from 4070% in the 1990s.
One reason for the decline in trial enrollment is the development of good treatments for some of the most common childhood cancers.
This positive development allowed clinical research centers to shift their focus and resources to trials of rare childhood cancers.
The study found no significant socioeconomic, ethnic or racial disparities within enrollment in pediatric clinical trials which highlights the accessibility of Children’s Oncology Group (COG) trials to more U.S. patients.
But there was a continuing decline in the under-enrollment of patients from ages 15 to 21 or adolescent and young adults (AYA) in clinical trials.
To address this problem, the COG has increased the age eligibility limits on many trials to include more patients in the AYA population.
3 KEY POINTS
“We feel this study is a useful evaluation of pediatric and AYA trial enrollment, representing important shifts in the way we design and test new treatments, and highlighting areas where we can continue to improve our use of clinical trials to give our patients the best possible options,” says Kelly Faulk, a University of Colorado Cancer Center researcher and pediatric oncologist at Children’s Hospital Colorado.
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