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The Looming Crisis in Cancer Drug Development:

97% of Adult Cancer Patients Do Not Take Advantage of Clinical Trial Programs

American Association for Cancer Research Aims to Raise Awareness about the Importance of Clinical Trial Participation

September 24, 2008 · Philadelphia, PA /PRNewswire/


News facts:

  • Most Americans with cancer would be receptive to participating in clinical trials if they knew about them.
    • In a survey of 6,000 cancer patients, 85 percent were either unaware or unsure that participation in a clinical trial was an option. Seventy-five percent said they would have been willing to enroll had they known it was possiblei.
    • This lack of knowledge is leading to a crisis in cancer drug development with 80 percent of clinical trials in the U.S. being delayed because of unfulfilled enrollmentii.
  • While clinical trials remain the only way to effectively test potential new medications, fewer than 5 percent of adult cancer patients participate in themiii. This lack of participation leads to delays in clinical trials and slows patient access to new and possibly lifesaving treatment options.
  • The American Association for Cancer Research (AACR), the proud scientific partner of Stand Up to Cancer, a ground-breaking initiative aimed at raising funds to accelerate cancer research and bringing new therapies to patients more quickly, is committed to spreading knowledge about cancer research and is on the front lines of the quest for prevention and cure. AACR is taking a lead in raising awareness about the urgent need to increase cancer clinical trial participation.
  • Clinical trials are not for everyone, but if you have been diagnosed with any type of cancer, talk to your doctor about whether a clinical trial may be right for you.
  • For information about AACR's progress toward the prevention and cure of cancer, please visit www.aacr.org.

Commentary on clinical trials:

"The American Association for Cancer Research aims to educate the public about what a clinical trial can offer and ensure people know all of their treatment options, including clinical trials, at the time of their diagnosis. Through this process patients can make an educated decision when choosing their course of therapy with their doctor." - Raymond N. DuBois, M.D., Ph.D. President, AACR and Provost and Executive Vice President of Academic Affairs, M. D. Anderson Cancer Center

"The challenge is to make patients and healthcare providers more aware of clinical trials. While more funds for research are needed, progress also requires more participation in clinical trials." - Gwen Darien, Director of Survivor and Patient Advocacy, AACR

"Cancer patients need to ask their doctors about clinical trials. It's important to be proactive and find out about treatment options and decide which is right for you." - Connie Mielich, cancer survivor and clinical trial participant

"The care I received while participating in a clinical trial was the best I've ever had. The healthcare providers were very attentive to my needs. Some patients may have reservations about enrolling but I advise people to ask their doctor about clinical trials and discuss it with their loved ones." - Connie Mielich, cancer survivor and clinical trial participant

About the AACR

Founded in 1907, the AACR is the world's oldest and largest professional organization dedicated to advancing cancer research and the prevention and cure of cancer. The membership includes more than 28,000 basic, translational, and clinical researchers, healthcare professionals' cancer survivors and advocates in the United States and 80 other countries. AACR marshals the full spectrum of expertise from the cancer community to accelerate progress in the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of cancer through high-quality scientific and educational programs.

i Harris Interactive survey - data on file
ii CISCRP's 101 Facts About Clinical Research: Treatment & Cures of Disease." The Center for Information & Study on Clinical Research Participation. July 2007.
http://www.ciscrp.org/information/documents/101FactsaboutClinicalResearch.pdf (16 Jan. 2008).
iii Lara P, et al. "Prospective Evaluation of Cancer Clinical Trial Accrual Patterns: Identifying Potential Barriers to Enrollment." The Journal of Clinical Oncology 19(2001):1728-1733.