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New Survey Shows Half of Cancer Patients Are Not Aware of Clinical Trials at the Time of Their Treatment Decision

Fear, Lack of Awareness and Need for Better Communication between Doctor

and Patient are the Top Barriers to Clinical Trial Participation

WASHINGTON, Dec. 6 /PRNewswire/ -- Lung Cancer Alliance, a

nationally-recognized leader in providing patient support and advocacy

solely for those living with or at risk for lung cancer, today announced

disconcerting findings from a new national survey of 600 patients and

oncologists that show a surprising and significant lack of awareness among

cancer patients about clinical trials available to them. Concerns, fears

and misperceptions about what to expect as a clinical trial participant,

such as the quality of care a patient receives and the chances for

treatment benefit, further deter the few who are informed from becoming

involved themselves.

The Clinical Trial Awareness, Attitudes and Participation among Cancer

Patients and Oncologists study sought to gain further insight into the

predominant barriers to participation in clinical trials by cancer

patients. The survey specifically examined attitudes and opinions of lung

cancer patients as well as those with other types of cancer. It also

surveyed attitudes and awareness among oncologists who provide treatment.

Though most oncologists believe that they discuss clinical trial

participation options with eligible patients, the study revealed that more

than 80 percent of cancer patients say they were unaware of available and

appropriate clinical trials at the time they were exploring treatment


Despite this seeming communication disconnect between oncologists and

cancer patients, both oncologists and patients agree on the reasons why

many patients do not choose to enroll in clinical trials, including:

* Fear of receiving a placebo or sugar pill (30% patients, 67%


* Fear of side effects (40% patients, 61% physicians)

* Inconvenience of the trial location (6% patients, 42% physicians)

* Costs associated with participation/insurance coverage issues (2%

patients, 38% physicians)

"Clinical trials represent the single, most important step in the

process of bringing new, improved cancer therapies to patients and the fact

that many patients do not enroll in them because they do not feel they have

enough information or even worse, don't know about them, is very

troubling," said Roy S. Herbst, MD, PhD, Chief of the Section of Thoracic

Medical Oncology, Professor of Medicine, M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in

Houston, who developed this survey with Lung Cancer Alliance. "Thousands of

cancer patients are being helped each day by new therapies under

investigation by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). This survey shows

us that there is more work to be done to ensure information gets into the

hands of cancer patients so they are able to make informed decisions about

whether or not clinical trials are right for them."

While patients expressed numerous concerns and hesitations about

participating in clinical studies, they did report that they would be

interested if they had all the appropriate information regarding trials. In

fact, seven out of ten cancer patients (69 percent) would be very or

somewhat interested in participating in a clinical trial if they still

required treatment and a new drug was being developed. Lung cancer

patients, in particular, expressed more interest than other cancer patients

(77 percent vs. 62 percent).

Additional advantages of joining a clinical trial cited by patients

include helping with research to find a cure (30 percent) and exposure to

the latest or cutting-edge treatment not yet on the market (26 percent). In

terms of obtaining information about these studies, a vast majority of

cancer patients (79 percent) learned about a trial from their physician.

One out of four patients (26 percent) read about a trial online.

Despite being the primary source of clinical trial information for

patients, oncologists expressed concern about the lack of one, central

resource they can turn to for information about clinical trials taking

place in their geographical area. While 50 percent of oncologists reported

they are aware of all or most clinical trials for new cancer drugs, the

findings also show that keeping current on these trials can be a

time-consuming challenge and improved resources could further engage the

treating oncologist community as well.

Another key consideration for patients and oncologists when evaluating

the benefits of clinical trial participation is the efficacy and the side

effect profile of current, FDA-approved treatments available for the

disease. Experimental therapies can be synonymous with hope for patients

with especially hard-to-treat cancers, such as lung cancer. This may

explain why lung cancer patients are willing to travel further than other

cancer patients to receive their treatment in a clinical trial -- 41

percent of lung cancer patients travel 20 miles or more to receive

treatment compared to 31 percent of other cancer patients. According to the

National Cancer Institute, 70 percent of lung cancer patients receive

late-stage diagnoses, further limiting their treatment options by ruling

out therapies that are most effective in the earlier stages of the disease.

"Throughout the cancer-treatment and support communities, we realized

that barriers such as education, access and changes in Medicare were

preventing patients from making informed decisions about clinical trial

enrollment," said Laurie Fenton, President of Lung Cancer Alliance. "This

dilemma can only be solved by providing cancer patients with

consumer-friendly, unbiased information about clinical trials that debunks

common myths and details the benefits of participation, ranging from

medical to financial, for all eligible patients."

In response to this problem, Lung Cancer Alliance (LCA) encourages

interested patients and caregivers to contact a Clinical Trial Matching

Specialist by calling, toll-free, (800) 698-0931. The LCA Clinical Trials

Matching Service is powered by EmergingMed.

In addition, the 2006-7 LCA Clinical Trials Matching Service Education

Series provides lung cancer patients and caregivers in-depth information on

the clinical trial process and research results of clinical trials.

The study was made possible with the support of AstraZeneca.

Information regarding lung and other cancer clinical trials sponsored by

AstraZeneca can be obtained by calling the AstraZeneca Cancer Support

Network at 1-(866)-992-9276. AstraZeneca also supports the LCA Clinical

Trials Matching Service Education Series. Together, AstraZeneca and Lung

Cancer Alliance are striving to make cancer care a more personalized

experience for those affected by the disease to ensure better outcomes for

all patients in the communities where we live and work.

About the Survey:

Clinical Trial Awareness, Attitudes and Participation among Cancer

Patients and Oncologists was conducted online by Shugoll Research with 200

cancer patients, 200 lung cancer patients and 200 oncologists between

August 9th and August 18th, 2006. The accuracy for the cancer patient

sample, lung cancer patient sample and the oncologist sample of 200 is +/-

7.0 percent at the 95 percent confidence level.

About Lung Cancer Alliance

Lung Cancer Alliance is the only non-profit organization solely

dedicated to patient support and advocacy for people living with, or at

risk for, lung cancer. As the number one cancer killer, lung cancer will

kill more than 160,000 Americans this year alone, causing more deaths than

breast, prostate, colon, liver, kidney cancers and melanoma combined. For

more information about Lung Cancer Alliance, please visit


About AstraZeneca

AstraZeneca is a major international healthcare business engaged in the

research, development, manufacture and marketing of prescription

pharmaceuticals and the supply of healthcare services. It is one of the

world's leading pharmaceutical companies with healthcare sales of $23.95

billion and leading positions in sales of gastrointestinal, cardiovascular,

neuroscience, respiratory, oncology and infection products. In the United

States, AstraZeneca is a $10.77 billion healthcare business with more than

12,000 employees. AstraZeneca is listed in the Dow Jones Sustainability

Index (Global) as well as the FTSE4Good Index. For more information about

AstraZeneca, please visit: http://www.astrazeneca-us.com.

Media Contact:

Kay Cofrancesco


(202) 463-2080

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Thank you for the article. Your research and articles are very much appreciated.

Don't want to be negative, reason's doctors don't tell us, they see $$$ signs upon diadnosis. The people in the trial make money, the doctors do to referral chg.. Not as much as if they would have kept the patient to themselves. This is ust my opinion. I was scared to death when I got my dx.. I just wanted to live, Clinical Trial what's that. Never really paid any attention...

Sorry for the rant.. We all learn the hard way :(

How are you and Daisy Dawg doing? Put a big red bow on her and share some nog...

Your a Blessing,

Merry Christmas


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