Patients too trusting in trial cancer drugs

The study examined the expectations of patients considering signing up to take part in trials.

Published: 26th September 2016 09:04 AM  |   Last Updated: 26th September 2016 09:07 AM   |  A+A-


Patients taking part in trials of new cancer drugs have unrealistic expectations that experimental treatment will save them, a study by the Royal Marsden Hospital in London has found.

Almost half of more than 300 cancer patients considering signing up for early-stage research believed their tumours would shrink, with hopes rising after they discussed the trials with their doctors, research found.

In fact, phase I clinical trials - which are the first experiments on humans following studies on laboratory animals, produce typical cancer response rates of between four per cent and 20 per cent. Enrolled patients, who often have advanced cancer that is not responding to standard therapy, survive for around six months on average.

The study examined the expectations of patients considering signing up to take part in trials.

Overall, patients were keen to experiment with new drugs, with up to 84 per cent of those taking part in research saying they would be willing to enrol.

But 47 per cent of patients were keen to do so because they expected the new drugs to shrink tumours which had often failed to respond to any other treatment.

Dr Udai Banerji, from the Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust and the Institute of Cancer Research, London, said: "The high percentage of patients expecting their tumours to shrink was a sobering finding."

The findings are published online in the American Cancer Society journal Cancer.

Stay up to date on all the latest World news with The New Indian Express App. Download now


Disclaimer : We respect your thoughts and views! But we need to be judicious while moderating your comments. All the comments will be moderated by the editorial. Abstain from posting comments that are obscene, defamatory or inflammatory, and do not indulge in personal attacks. Try to avoid outside hyperlinks inside the comment. Help us delete comments that do not follow these guidelines.

The views expressed in comments published on are those of the comment writers alone. They do not represent the views or opinions of or its staff, nor do they represent the views or opinions of The New Indian Express Group, or any entity of, or affiliated with, The New Indian Express Group. reserves the right to take any or all comments down at any time.

flipboard facebook twitter whatsapp