Risk of dying from experimental cancer treatment drops by 90 percent over 12 years
The chance that patients participating in early-stage cancer research studies will die from the experimental treatments has dropped dramatically over the past decade, according to a study from the Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) Cancer Center and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). In an analysis of more than 200 Phase 1 research trials from 1991 through 2002, the researchers found that treatment-related deaths decreased by 90 percent during the study period. The report appears in the November 3 Journal of the American Medical Association.
"We undertook this study because there has been so much concern in recent years about the safety of clinical trials. We wanted to see if the increased attention to patient safety had made a difference and if the addition of targeted therapies, which tend to be less toxic, had also helped," says Thomas Roberts Jr., MD, of the MGH Cancer Center, the papers lead author. "Now we can tell patients with cancer that, compared with 10 years ago, they can expect a higher level of safety when they enroll in early-stage clinical trials."
Sue McGreevey | EurekAlert!
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