An estimated 1 in 6 men in the United States will be diagnosed with prostate cancer in their lifetime.1 Although progress has been made, much still needs to be done to improve the diagnosis, treatment, survival, and quality of life for this patient population. Prostate cancer remains the second leading cause of cancer-related death among men in the United States, and prostate cancer survivors frequently experience long-term side effects of treatment.2,3 An obstacle to research progress is arguably the low rate of clinical trial enrollment. Recent reports estimate only 2% to 5% of adults diagnosed with cancer participate in clinical trials, although up to 20% of adults may be eligible for disease-specific clinical trial participation.4-6
One barrier to clinical trial enrollment is lack of awareness of available clinical trials. A survey of nearly 6000 patients with cancer found that 85% were either unaware or unsure that participation in clinical trials was an option, although 75% of these patients indicated a willingness to consider enrolling in a trial had they known it was an option.7 Lack of physician awareness of and time to discuss clinical trials also contribute to the limited patient awareness of available clinical trials and subsequent low clinical trial enrollment.5
A clinical trial initiative was introduced into MD Anderson Cancer Center's Multidisciplinary Prostate Cancer Clinic (MPCC) as a possible means to increase clinical trial enrollment and overcome these barriers. The initiative was based on the premise that providing an organized, methodical approach to incorporating clinical trial recommendations into an established clinic could facilitate greater patient understanding and consideration of clinical trial options. This article reports on the impact this initiative had on trial enrollment at a comprehensive cancer center.
The authors have disclosed that they have no financial interests, arrangements, affiliations, or commercial interests with the manufacturers of any products discussed in this article or their competitors.
What are the key statistics about prostate cancer?American Cancer Society Web site. Available at: http://www.cancer.org/cancer/prostatecancer/detailedguide/prostate-cancer-key-statistics. Accessed June 4 2014.
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