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 care1.
Cancers prevalent in children (aged less than 15 years) tend to differ from adult cancers, being more likely to affect fast-growing tissues such as blood, lymph, bone marrow, nervous tissues, muscles, kidney, liver and bone.2
Due to these differences, paediatric cancer clinical trials are important in identifying safe and effective treatments.3 In addition, 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.3 Previous research suggests that paediatric cancer clinical trial participation tends to be higher than for adults.4
The number and proportion of paediatric 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. Cancer Australia– Children’s Cancer. About children’s cancer? Available here.
3. Canadian Partnership Against Cancer. The 2016 Cancer System Performance Report. Toronto: Canadian Partnership Against Cancer; 2016
4. 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.