IN THE NEWS • 05/08/2017
The importance of clinical trial awareness
Last week was the third annual Clinical Trial Awareness Week, during which the Coalition for Clinical Trials Awareness promoted clinical trials and efforts to make them more know among the general public. New healthcare technologies need clinical trials before they're available as treatment options, so the importance of the studies cannot be overstated. As part of their efforts, the CCTA hosted a Health Policy Roundtable at the US Capitol Visitor's Center, during which attendees, including the Colon Cancer Alliance, heard about the ways that the federal government can raise the public’s awareness of the benefits of clinical trials. [caption id="attachment_6023" align="alignright" width="120"] This post was written by William-Jose Velez Gonzalez, Communications & Innovation Coordinator.[/caption] During this discussion, we heard about how clinical trials have staggeringly low participation rates, with 11% of study sites failing to enroll even a single patient. That means one out of every 10 studies cannot find a single person to test potentially life-saving new technologies. Furthermore, 37% of sites do not meet their enrollment goals, which means the study cannot be completed as there will not be enough data. Other bits of worrying data provided by the CCTA include the fact that 40% of surveyed adults do not understand what clinical trials are, and that only 32% would consider participating. The information provided in the roundtable also reflects findings the Colon Cancer Alliance has seen in its own surveys. For instance, 64% of survey respondents for a colon cancer immuno-oncology survey, had not discussed clinical trials with a healthcare provider. These alarming statistics show a general lack of awareness and understanding of clinical trials, and what they mean for diseases like colon cancer.