“The American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) today called for greater access to and education about phase I clinical trials, the first-in-human studies of new agents designed to fight cancer.
“In a just-released policy statement, the Society stresses the critical importance of phase I clinical trials in cancer research and treatment, emphasizing that this research offers greater potential as a treatment option for many patients than was the case in the past, due to development of molecularly targeted agents, biomarker tests to identify patients likely to respond to treatments and innovative clinical trial designs.
“ ‘The Critical Role of Phase I Trials in Cancer Research and Treatment’ ASCO policy statement, which updates a 1997 version, was published today in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.
“ ‘With new agents that target specific abnormalities in a patient’s tumor, better tests to identify those abnormalities and more sophisticated clinical trial designs, today’s phase I trials in cancer offer patients a greater likelihood of benefit than ever before,’ said ASCO President Peter Paul Yu, MD, FACP, FASCO. ‘Patients shouldn’t shy away from phase I trials and doctors should present these trials as options for eligible patients throughout the period of active cancer treatment, not only when all other treatment options have failed.’ ”