Non-small cell lung cancer patients show strong interest in clinical trial participation across disease progression.
In February 2022, SubjectWell announced the expansion of its proven marketplace to include oncology clinical trials, beginning with non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). Lung cancer is by far the leading cause of cancer death, and more specifically, the vast majority of lung cancer diagnoses are NSCLC.
To develop a better understanding of NSCLC patients’ attitudes towards clinical research, SubjectWell fielded a survey from February 21 to March 3, 2022 of 65 NSCLC diagnosed patients.* This survey measured factors like respondents’ willingness to participate in clinical trials for NSCLC treatment, their reasons for participating, and the impact of time since a patient’s diagnosis and their cancer stage on likelihood of clinical trial participation.
Interest in clinical trial participation was impressively high among respondents.
Across the board, four out of every five respondents (80%) reported that they are somewhat or very interested in participating in a clinical trial, even more interested in participation than patient responses from SubjectWell surveys of other conditions like NASH, asthma, and Parkinson’s disease. There were also no meaningful differences in interest when comparing patients across diagnosis timing, cancer stage, or patient demographics.
Respondents’ interest in NSCLC clinical trial participation:
80% showed interest
16% were neither interested nor disinterested
4% were not interested
Nearly half of respondents agreed that they would travel up to two hours to participate in a clinical trial.
The survey found that 45% of respondents would be willing to travel up to two hours to participate in a clinical trial for NSCLC treatment, and over two-thirds of respondents (68%) would be willing to travel up to one hour to participate. This data signals to study sponsors that they have the opportunity to expand their outreach pool geographically when looking for participants.
Respondents’ willingness to drive to participate in a clinical trial:
- 30 Minutes
- 1 Hour
- 2 Hours
- 2+ Hours
100% 30 Minutes vs 68% 1 Hour vs 45% 2 Hours vs 13% 2+ Hours
Most respondents reported that receiving better treatment is an important reason for participating in a clinical trial.
When looking at patient motivations for participating in a clinical trial, 93% of respondents reported that getting better treatment is an important reason, followed by 86% of respondents, who noted helping others who suffer from the condition and advancing medicine. As expected, receiving payment for participation was the lowest ranked patient motivation.
However, respondents who had been diagnosed within the past year were likely to report that a recommendation by a well-known organization is an important motivator for participating in clinical trials (71%). By comparison, those who had been diagnosed more than one year before the survey were less likely to do so (44%).
Importance of reasons for participating in a clinical trial:
93% of respondents rated receiving better treatment as important
86% of respondents rated helping others who suffer from the condition and advancing medicine as important
79% of respondents rated recommendations by their PCP or oncologist as important
59% of respondents rated a recommendation by a well-known cancer research organization as important
36% of respondents rated receiving payment for participation as important
Overall, patients are highly interested in NSCLC trials despite common assumptions.
In conclusion, patients diagnosed with NSCLC are very interested in participating in clinical trials regardless of their diagnosis timing or cancer stage, and nearly half are willing to travel up to two hours to pursue treatment for their condition. These results appear to challenge the common assumption that oncology patients may not consider clinical trials because they rely exclusively on the recommendations of their primary care physician or oncologist. Instead, patient motivations to receive better treatment and help others who suffer from the same condition make engaging NSCLC patients in clinical trials more likely.
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* While we were excited to receive responses from so many diagnosed patients this quickly, we want to emphasize that with a sample size of 65 patients, these results are directional. Such results may not be statistically significant, but instead indicate that more research is needed.