Factors associated with clinical trial screening failures in gynecologic oncology

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6 Scopus citations


Objective Low enrollment of adult cancer patients in clinical trials is an ongoing challenge in cancer research. We sought to determine factors associated with clinical trial screening failures in women with gynecologic malignancies at a large urban university health system. Methods A retrospective review was conducted of women with gynecologic malignancies who presented to an urban university system between 12/2009 and 12/2012. Data collected included demographic, clinico-pathologic and trial-related factors, as well as reasons for non-participation. Results Two hundred twenty-one patients were eligible for a clinical trial. Of these, 44% participated while 56% did not. There were more screening failures when trials were offered at the time of primary treatment than at recurrence (62% vs. 38%, p = 0.001). There was no significant difference in participation based on age, ethnicity, hospital setting, payor status, family history, comorbidities, prior treatment, substance abuse, recent surgery or trial type. Of the non-participants, 62% declined the study due to perceived harm and 10% due to socio-economic barriers while 20% were excluded due to co-morbidities and 8% due to noncompliance. Conclusions Significantly more screening failures for clinical trials occurred when trials were offered at the time of primary treatment. The majority of patients declined based on perceived harm from enrolling in a clinical trial, although 20% of eligible patients were not offered enrollment despite not meeting any exclusion criteria. Our findings underscore the importance of appropriate counseling when offering clinical trials, as well as overcoming physician biases in deciding who is an appropriate candidate.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)450-454
Number of pages5
JournalGynecologic Oncology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 2014


  • Clinical Trial as Topic
  • Female
  • Health knowledge, attitudes, practice
  • Patient participation
  • Refusal to participate

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Obstetrics and Gynecology


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