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Patient Recruitment Main Factor in Lengthy Oncology Clinical Trial Durations

Published: Wednesday, February 20, 2013
Last Updated: Wednesday, February 20, 2013
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As a company’s oncology clinical trial progresses from Phase 1 to Phase 3, trial duration typically lengthens the difference between projected and actual patient enrollment increases.

“In most cases, it’s the patient recruitment challenges that delay clinical trials in oncology,” said Ryan McGuire, senior research analyst at Cutting Edge Information. “And if two companies are running competing clinical trials, then enrolling patients becomes even more of a challenge.”

Cutting Edge Information’s study, “Oncology Clinical Trials: Drug Development Resources and Case Studies,” found that across all phases of oncology clinical trials, the two main factors impacting duration are the level of difficulty of trial-specific patient recruitment and the number of patient visits required by a trial. During Phase 1 and Phase 2 trials, these durations average between 27.5 and 26.1 months respectively. The longest trial durations during these phases fall between 48 and 50 months. To compare, the average length of a Phase 3 trial, according to surveyed trial profiles, is approximately 41 months; with the longest Phase 3 trial topping 81 months.

Some targeted patients may already be participating in other clinical trials depending on the specific area of oncology studied. In the areas where there are more available treatment options, patients may prefer the current standard of care as opposed to unproven investigative clinical trials. Cutting Edge Information found that drug companies can lessen the patient recruitment challenge in geographic areas where clinical trials are one of the few low-cost treatment options available for afflicted patients.

“Oncology Clinical Trials: Drug Development Resources and Case Studies” ( features detailed data on clinical development for oncology treatment including specific methods for allocating the correct resources in Phase 3. The research also highlights up-to-date metrics illustrating clinical costs for oncology trials, one of the largest areas of study for the pharmaceutical industry. Use this report to:
•    Explore areas of higher activity for different types of cancer drug development
•    Get a robust picture of each phase’s challenges and costs.
•    Determine the cost per patient and other critical cost drivers

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