Cancer Patients Willing to Undergo Pre-Trial Testing

Greater willingness to undergo pharmacodynamic, pharmacokinetic tests found with fewer tests

MONDAY, March 7 (HealthDay News) -- Patients with advanced malignancies appear to be quite willing to undergo pharmacodynamic (PD) and pharmacokinetic (PK) tests in order to be enrolled in clinical trials, according to research published online Jan. 18 in Cancer.

Raoul Tibes, M.D., Ph.D., of the Mayo Clinic in Scottsdale, Ariz., and colleagues prospectively measured the willingness of 61 patients with advanced malignancies to undergo various procedures and imaging tests, and how many tests patients would tolerate.

The researchers found that, overall, patients' willingness to undergo study-required tests was quite high, more so for blood and urine tests, ultrasounds, X-rays, echocardiograms, and computed tomography than for tumor and skin biopsies and magnetic resonance imaging. There was an inverse relationship between willingness to undergo tests and the frequency of the tests. Willingness was modestly influenced by inconvenience and prior bad experiences with invasive testing, and positively correlated with college education, insurance coverage, and requirement of the tests for enrollment.

"The current findings provide the first prospectively collected data on patients' willingness to undergo PK/PD tests and imaging studies associated with early stage oncology drug trials and can serve as basis for further exploration toward the design of patient-friendly, biomarker-driven clinical studies in oncology," the authors write.

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