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  • Author: Catriona Parker x
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Catriona Parker, Raymond Snyder, Michael Jefford, David Dilts, Rory Wolfe and Jeremy Millar

Background: A low proportion of adults with cancer are recruited to clinical trials. Cancer Council Victoria provides funding to clinical trial sites through its statewide Cancer Trials Management Scheme (CTMS). Historically, there appeared to be a relationship between budget-allocated funding and the number of patients recruited. A randomized controlled trial was conducted to test whether additional funding in 2013 would increase trial recruitment. Methods: A total of 18 trial centers (“sites”) received usual CTMS funds, whereas 16 intervention sites received usual funds plus additional funds, proportional to recruitment in 2011; additional payments to sites in the intervention group ranged from $6,750 to $234,000 AUD (≈$6,750–$234,000 USD at the time). This represented an average 11.8% (interquartile range [IQR], 8.0%, 12.3%) increase in sites' budgets. Sites were required to use the funds with the aim of increasing recruitment. The study end point was the number of new participants recruited to trials in 2013. An online survey assessed strategies used to increase recruitment. Results: The median number of new trial recruits per site in 2013 was 21 (IQR, 5–39) in the control arm and 12.5 (IQR, 3.5–44.5) in the intervention arm. The ratio of new trial recruitment numbers at the intervention sites compared with control sites in 2013, adjusting for respective 2012 numbers and institution type, was 0.99 (95% CI, 0.69, 1.43; P=.96). The survey revealed most intervention sites used funding to increase staffing. Conclusions: Additional funding at a site level did not lead to a contemporaneous increase in trial recruitment.