Clinical trials are fundamental to establishing if new cancer treatments or new ways of using existing therapies, diagnostic tests, preventative or supportive interventions are effective and safe and they help generate the evidence for best-practice cancer care.1
Research from the UK indicates that enrolment of adolescents and young adults aged 15–29 years (AYA) is lower than that of children aged under 15 years.2,3 This may be due to AYAs cancer patients falling into a gap which sits in-between paediatric and adult cancer care.2
Patients enrolled in clinical trials tend to have better outcomes in terms of quality-of-life and survival, most likely due to greater adherence to guidelines and protocols by clinicians.4
The number and proportion of AYA cancer patients enrolled in clinical trials is currently not known in Australia. As a result, an understanding of unwarranted variation in clinical trial participation between population groups is also not known.
There are currently no national data available for this indicator. Cancer Australia is progressing the development of this indicator.
Information about the measure(s):
The measure for this indicator is yet to be determined.
Links to other content:
1. Australian Clinical Trials. What is a clinical trial? Available here.
2. Fern LA et al. 2014. Available, accessible, aware, appropriate, and acceptable: a strategy to improve participation of teenagers and young adults in cancer trials. Lancet Oncol. 15: e341–50.
3. Fern LA et al. 2008. Rates of inclusion of teenagers and young adults in England into National Cancer Research Network clinical trials: Report from the National Cancer Research Institute (NCRI) Teenage and Young Adult Clinical Studies Development Group. British Journal of Cancer (2008) 99, 1967–1974.
4. Canadian Partnership Against Cancer. The 2016 Cancer System Performance Report. Toronto: Canadian Partnership Against Cancer; 2016