Challenges in Opening and Enrolling Patients in Clinical Trials

Julie M. Vose, Meredith K. Chuk, Francis Giles

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Clinical trials are key elements of the processes that account for many of the recent advances in cancer care, including decreased mortality rates and increased survivorship; better supportive care; and improved understanding of cancer risk, prevention, and screening. This research also has led to the validation of numerous exciting new types of cancer treatments, such as molecularly targeted therapies and immunotherapies. Clinical trials, however, are becoming more and more challenging to conduct. Research programs must comply with legal and regulatory requirements that can be inefficient and costly to implement and often are variably interpreted by institutions and sponsors and sponsors' representatives, including contract research organizations. Some of these requirements are essential to protect the safety of trial participants, to promote the scientific integrity of research, or to ensure that trial conduct is efficient and adequately resourced. Such requirements are important to preserve. However, some requirements do not fulfill any of these goals and, in fact, hinder research and slow patient access to safe and effective treatments. This article discusses some of the identified issues that are slowing the process of cancer clinical trials, such as conservatively interpreted guidelines by pharmaceutical companies and contract research organizations; overprotective language for contracts; and patient protections by health systems and universities. The article also discusses possible solutions to these problems that are slowing down the cancer therapies that patients need.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)139-143
Number of pages5
JournalAmerican Society of Clinical Oncology educational book. American Society of Clinical Oncology. Annual Meeting
StatePublished - 2017
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine


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