ASCO: Income Predicts if Patients Will Join Trials

MedPage Today: By Michael Smith, North American Correspondent, Published: June 03, 2012

CHICAGO — Cancer patients with lower incomes are markedly less likely to say they’re willing to take part in a clinical trial, a researcher said here.

In an Internet-based survey, 9% of people with newly diagnosed cancers said they were taking part in a clinical trial, according to Joseph Unger, MS, of the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle.

That’s higher than the 2% to 3% who take part in National Cancer Institute-sponsored trials, Unger told reporters at the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) meeting here.

However, people with an income of less than $50,000 a year were 27% less likely to take part in a trial than those with a higher income, Unger said. And when income was less than $20,000 a year, respondents were 44% less likely to take part.

The finding raises concerns about whether all patients have equal access to the state-of-the-art treatment used in clinical trials, Unger said. Read more