Awareness of clinical trials for screening and treating cancer continues to be very low among Europeans with lung cancer, according to a 10 September presentation at the 2019 World Conference on Lung Cancer in Barcelona, Spain.
The research effort was led by the Lung Cancer Europe (LuCE), an organization seeking to increase awareness of services for lung cancer detection, diagnosis, treatment, and care across the continent.
The group reviewed relevant literature and public policy research to develop an online survey about lung cancer care services and then shared it with lung cancer patients throughout Europe. Survey participants were mostly from Poland (19.5%) and Italy (18.7%), followed by Denmark (9.9%) and Spain (9.2%). The researchers also conducted 15 qualitative interviews with representatives from the medical community, pharmaceutical industry, and patient advocate associations.
The findings from the surveys revealed that 22% of lung cancer patients from several European countries had never even heard of a clinical trial for cancer, and roughly 50% of the patients did not understand what a cancer clinical trial entailed.
"Fortunately, over 50% of these respondents stated that their trial experience was positive and 80% wanted to find out more about clinical trials, while 75% believed that it would be beneficial for patients to work together with researchers in the clinical trial development process," principal investigator Dr. A.M. Baird said in a statement.
Among the hurdles to accessing cancer trials reported in the survey were limited accessibility to accurate information, language barriers, challenges with obtaining services across country borders, and various disparities in access to services.
"The lung cancer community must work together to overcome these barriers and ensure access to clinical trials for all people impacted by lung cancer," Baird concluded.