Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Lower income cancer patients less likely to be involved in clinical trials

04.06.2012
Large survey finds participation varies by income level

Cancer patients with annual household incomes below $50,000 were less likely to participate in clinical trials than patients with annual incomes of $50,000 or higher, and were more likely to be concerned about how to pay for clinical trial participation. This is the conclusion of a large study by the SWOG cancer research cooperative group that will be presented at the annual meeting of the American Society for Clinical Oncology (ASCO) in Chicago this week.

The study was a collaboration between SWOG, supported largely by the National Cancer Institute (NCI), and NexCura, which until the recent sale of that company had run an online treatment decision tool that many cancer advocacy organizations made available to patients via their websites.

Led by Joseph M. Unger, M.S., Ph.C., of the SWOG Statistical Center and the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle, the study surveyed 5,499 patients who registered with NexCura's treatment decision tool.

In the end, 7.6 percent of survey takers with an annual income below $50,000 reported participating in clinical trials, while 10.0 percent of those with incomes of $50,000 or more said they took part.

Lower levels of participation are concerning on at least two fronts, says Unger. "From the patient perspective, since clinical trials offer state of the art therapy, lower income patients may not have equal access to this important medical resource."

On a broader scientific level, Unger argues that increasing participation rates of lower income patients in clinical trials would give doctors and researchers greater confidence that the results of those trials apply to patients across the income spectrum. In addition, with more patients participating in clinical trials, trials could be done more quickly, ultimately speeding the development of new treatments for cancer patients.

The researchers found that lower income patients were more likely to be concerned about how to pay for the care they would receive as part of a clinical trial. Unger proposes that although past research has shown that patient care costs for clinical trials are not appreciably higher than for non-trial treatments, lower income patients may still be more concerned about co-pays and co-insurance than higher income patients. Also, lower income patients may be more affected by the indirect or hidden costs of clinical trial participation, such as having to take time off work to go to a clinic visit. The researchers suggest that further research is needed to identify the specific cost concerns that may be limiting participation for lower income patients.

Because income data are not generally collected from patients when they start treatment, previous studies that looked at socioeconomic status and trial participation often included surrogate measures to infer income level; for example, median income level from the patient's zip code region was used to estimate individual patient income. Those earlier studies hinted at this correlation, but tended to be less reliable as evidence.

Unger notes that, "This is the biggest study to use patient-level income on a national level that also accounts for patient medical conditions." He emphasizes the importance of the comorbidity factor because lower income patients are more likely to suffer from a range of health conditions that might limit their eligibility for trials. This study was able to control for these differences in health status, yet the difference in participation rates by income level remained.

Additional authors: D Hershman, KS Albain, C Moinpour, J Petersen, K Burg, JJ Crowley

Funding: National Cancer Institute; NexCura

Disclosure: None

Reference: Unger, JM et al. "Patterns of Decision-Making about Cancer Clinical Trial Participation among the Online Cancer Treatment Community: A collaboration between SWOG and NexCura®." American Society of Clinical Oncology Annual Meeting, June 1-5, 2012, Chicago, abstract No. 6009.

About the SWOG clinical trials network:

SWOG is one of the five cooperative groups that together comprise the National Cancer Institute's (NCI's) National Clinical Trials Network. The group designs and conducts multidisciplinary clinical trials to improve the practice of medicine in preventing, detecting, and treating cancer, and to enhance the quality of life for cancer survivors. The more than 4,000 researchers in the group's network practice at more than 500 institutions, including 22 of the NCI-designated cancer centers as well as cancer centers in almost a dozen other countries. Formerly the Southwest Oncology Group, SWOG is headquartered at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor (734-998-7140) and has an operations office in San Antonio and a statistical center in Seattle. Learn more at swog.org.

SWOG – Leading cancer research. Together.

Frank DeSanto | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.umich.edu

More articles from Studies and Analyses:

nachricht Smart Data Transformation – Surfing the Big Wave
02.12.2016 | Fraunhofer-Institut für Angewandte Informationstechnik FIT

nachricht Climate change could outpace EPA Lake Champlain protections
18.11.2016 | University of Vermont

All articles from Studies and Analyses >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Shape matters when light meets atom

Mapping the interaction of a single atom with a single photon may inform design of quantum devices

Have you ever wondered how you see the world? Vision is about photons of light, which are packets of energy, interacting with the atoms or molecules in what...

Im Focus: Novel silicon etching technique crafts 3-D gradient refractive index micro-optics

A multi-institutional research collaboration has created a novel approach for fabricating three-dimensional micro-optics through the shape-defined formation of porous silicon (PSi), with broad impacts in integrated optoelectronics, imaging, and photovoltaics.

Working with colleagues at Stanford and The Dow Chemical Company, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign fabricated 3-D birefringent...

Im Focus: Quantum Particles Form Droplets

In experiments with magnetic atoms conducted at extremely low temperatures, scientists have demonstrated a unique phase of matter: The atoms form a new type of quantum liquid or quantum droplet state. These so called quantum droplets may preserve their form in absence of external confinement because of quantum effects. The joint team of experimental physicists from Innsbruck and theoretical physicists from Hannover report on their findings in the journal Physical Review X.

“Our Quantum droplets are in the gas phase but they still drop like a rock,” explains experimental physicist Francesca Ferlaino when talking about the...

Im Focus: MADMAX: Max Planck Institute for Physics takes up axion research

The Max Planck Institute for Physics (MPP) is opening up a new research field. A workshop from November 21 - 22, 2016 will mark the start of activities for an innovative axion experiment. Axions are still only purely hypothetical particles. Their detection could solve two fundamental problems in particle physics: What dark matter consists of and why it has not yet been possible to directly observe a CP violation for the strong interaction.

The “MADMAX” project is the MPP’s commitment to axion research. Axions are so far only a theoretical prediction and are difficult to detect: on the one hand,...

Im Focus: Molecules change shape when wet

Broadband rotational spectroscopy unravels structural reshaping of isolated molecules in the gas phase to accommodate water

In two recent publications in the Journal of Chemical Physics and in the Journal of Physical Chemistry Letters, researchers around Melanie Schnell from the Max...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

ICTM Conference 2017: Production technology for turbomachine manufacturing of the future

16.11.2016 | Event News

Innovation Day Laser Technology – Laser Additive Manufacturing

01.11.2016 | Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

 
Latest News

IHP presents the fastest silicon-based transistor in the world

05.12.2016 | Power and Electrical Engineering

InLight study: insights into chemical processes using light

05.12.2016 | Materials Sciences

High-precision magnetic field sensing

05.12.2016 | Power and Electrical Engineering

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>