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Lack of Study Volunteers Hobbles Cancer Fight

August 3, 2009

Having worked in the pharmaceutical industry since 1984 and spending at least half of that time conducting clinical research, I can attest that the number one reason that slows medical advances is the lack of patients participating in trials.  Up to 80% of trials are delayed due to poor enrollment.

New York Time, August 3, 2009
By GINA KOLATA

Not long ago, at a meeting of an advisory group established by Congress to monitor the war on cancer, participants were asked how to speed progress.

“Everyone was talking about expanding the cancer work force and getting people to stop smoking,” said Dr. Scott Ramsey, a cancer researcher and health economist, who was participating in that January 2008 meeting of the President’s Cancer Panel. “Lots of murmurs of approval.”

Then it was his turn.

The biggest barrier, in his opinion, was that almost no adult cancer patients — just 3 percent — participate in studies of cancer treatments, mostly new drugs or drug regimens.

“To me it was obvious,” Dr. Ramsey said. “We can’t improve survival unless we test new treatments against established ones.”

The room fell silent.  Read entire article here –> http://www.nytimes.com/2009/08/03/health/research/03trials.html

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