Improving accrual of older persons to cancer treatment trials: a randomized trial comparing an educational intervention with standard information: CALGB 360001.
PURPOSE: To design and test a geriatric educational intervention to improve accrual of cancer patients age 65 years and older to cooperative group-sponsored treatment trials. METHODS: Main member institutions of the Cancer and Leukemia Group B (CALGB) and its affiliates were randomly assigned to receive standard information (n = 73) or educational intervention (n = 53). Standard information included CALGB Web site access and periodic notification about existing trials. The geriatric educational intervention included standard information plus: (1) an educational seminar; (2) educational materials; (3) a list of available protocols for use on charts; (4) a monthly e-mail and mail reminders for 1 year; and (5) a case discussion seminar. The main outcome was percentage of accrual of older persons to phase II and III treatment protocols after study initiation compared with baseline. RESULTS: There were 3,032 patients entered onto trials in the baseline year, and 2,160 and 1,239 during the 2 years postintervention, respectively. Overall percentage of accrual of older patients was 37% at baseline, and 33% and 31% during the first and second years after intervention. There was no improvement in accrual in the intervention versus control arm: 36% v 32% in the first year and 31% v 31% in the second year. CONCLUSION: Accrual of older patients was not increased by this intervention. Reasons for lack of effect include low intervention intensity, high baseline accrual rates, and closure of several high-accruing protocols during the study. More intense and multifaceted approaches will be needed to change physician (and patient) behavior and to increase accrual of older persons to clinical trials.
Kimmick, GG; Peterson, BL; Kornblith, AB; Mandelblatt, J; Johnson, JL; Wheeler, J; Heinze, R; Cohen, HJ; Muss, HB
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