Oncologists optimistic about the potential of clinical trials for personalized medicine

According to a national poll of oncologists and clinical research professionals, there is a high level of optimism about the potential of clinical trials for personalized medicine. While oncologists view cost as a barrier to treatment and research, they think policy initiatives are opportunities to effectively promote personalized medicine. Fifty eight percent reported being optimistic about the future of clinical trials in the United States, while 25 percent reported being either ambivalent or unsure. Only 17 percent consider themselves pessimistic.

The importance of government policy in promoting wider use of personalized medicine was reported as very important (rated 6 or 7 on a scale of 7) for 58% of respondents. Most respondents (66%) reported they were unaware of current discussions in the U.S. Legislature regarding biosimilars. When asked how much of an impact biosimilars will have on the biologics market, 54% of respondents indicated they were not sure.

Over half of respondents (53%) said they think that recruiting patients to clinical trials for targeted therapies will be less difficult than large-scale randomized trials of more traditional cytotoxic therapies.

As part of an ongoing effort to give voice to oncologists and associated professionals, US Oncology conducts bi-annual pulse surveys on topics of interest to the oncology world. Stephen Smith, vice president and general manager of US Oncology Research and Personalized Science Services, was eager to explore the perceived challenges and opportunities associated with research in personalized medicine.

"Everyone believes that personalized medicine is the future of cancer treatment, but we can't get there without research. It's vitally important that we know how professionals on the front lines of cancer research feel about our progress -- both the barriers and success factors, and ultimately the opportunities," said Smith.

Sponsored by US Oncology, and conducted by KJT Group, the survey polled a mix of oncologists (67%) with specialties in the areas of medical, radiation, surgical and hematology, and clinical research professionals (33%), including trial coordinators, study managers and physician/investigators. The survey sought to quantify personalized medicine trends in treatment and research, while examining the impact of regulatory policies and reimbursement on clinical trials. Respondents were also queried on the quality of clinical research, patient accrual success, and specific ways to reduce the barriers to patient participation.

SOURCE US Oncology, Inc.

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