The annual American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) meeting was held in Chicago last week. Our AccrualNet team was anxious to learn about the latest work in the area of clinical trial accrual. We found 21 abstracts of interest and just added them to the AccrualNet Literature and Tools section. You can read a quick synopsis of each abstract here --or simply type 'ASCO 2013' in the search box on any page of AccrualNet. If you want to read more, you can link to the complete abstract on ASCOs web site. This year's abstracts addressed a variety of barriers: geographic accessibility of trials across the U.S., the time required by a clinician to identify a study, the 'findability' of clinical trial information on the web, patient knowledge of and attitudes about clinical trials. Studies about accrual were conducted at academic centers, community-based settings, cooperative groups, and at international locations.
Here are highlights from a couple of interesting abstracts:
- The PRE-ACT (Preparatory Education About Clinical Trials) prospective, multi-center, randomized, Phase III trial compared clinical trial knowledge, attitudes and decision-preparedness among adult patients who received generic clinical trials information or who received short video clips tailored to address their personal perceived barriers and issues. The study found both groups experienced increased knowledge, decreased attitudinal barriers and improved preparation for decision-making. However the patients in the PRE-ACT group were more satisfied with how the information was conveyed. It's too early to address the impact on trial accrual, but satisfaction is improved when the information presented is tailored to address the specific concerns of the patient.
- You might agree with the researchers at Case Western who hypothesized that the time required to identify appropriate studies for individuals patients is a barrier to accrual. They developed Trial Prospector, a computer-based system that uses artificial intelligence and natural language processing to automatically extract info from multiple clinical data systems and match it to clinical trial eligibility criteria. The oncologists participating in the study reported that the program saved time required to identify a potential trial during 57% of visits and 90% recommended the tool for CT screening.
- Researchers at Duke University looked at the availability of clinical trial accrual data, believing that timely accrual data can be used prospectively to inform the design of new clinical trials. As a demonstration case, they tested the availability of accrual data across all recent renal cell carcinoma studies. Accrual data was gathered from clinicaltrials.gov, surveys of researchers and sponsors, publication reviews, and follow-up phone calls. Despite extensive efforts, accrual data was inaccessible for 60% of the trials. Looks like we've got some room for improvement!
Take a look at the abstracts. What do you think about the state of accrual research? Do you have any ideas for a study that might move accrual practices forward?