Participation in clinical trials
Clinical trials are fundamental to establishing whether new preventive or screening strategies, diagnostic tests and treatments, or new ways of using existing treatments, tests or interventions are safe, effective and improve outcomes for people at risk of or diagnosed with cancer.1 Enrolment in relevant and suitable clinical trials should be considered for all patients as part of cancer treatment planning. This includes Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.
A requirement of clinical trials conducted in Australia is adherence to a set of national guidelines to ensure that research is safe, respectful, responsible, high quality and of benefit to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and communities.2
To achieve equity in participation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in cancer clinical trials, health professionals should use culturally appropriate resources to better inform patients about the benefits of the trials. Use of telehealth technology such as the Australasian Tele-trial Model may also improve access by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people to clinical trials.
There are currently no national data available for this indicator.
The number and proportion of adult, adolescent and young adult and paediatric patients with cancer currently enrolled in clinical trials in Australia is not known. This is the case for the general population and for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.
For more information about the broader Australian community see the NCCI ‘Research’
Cancer Australia. Optimal Care Pathway for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people with cancer: Step 3: Diagnosis, staging and treatment planning; Step 4: Treatment; Step 5: Care after initial treatment and recovery; Step 6: Managing recurrent, residual or metastatic disease; Step 7: End-of-life care.
Cancer Australia. Australian Cancer Trials.
National Health and Medical Research Council. Ethical conduct in research with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples and Communities.
Clinical Oncology Society of Australia. Australasian Tele-Trial Model. Access to trials closer to home using tele-health. A national guide for implementation.
1. Cancer Australia. What is a clinical trial? Australian Cancer Trials website. [Accessed 1 June 2020].
2. National Health and Medical Research Council, Ethical conduct in research with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples and communities: Guidelines for researchers and stakeholders,Commonwealth of Australia: Canberra. 2018.