The gist: Lung cancer patients who have previously had cancer are excluded from most clinical trials testing new lung cancer treatments.
“In a study reported in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute, Gerber et al found that patients with prior cancer were excluded from most clinical trials in lung cancer, including nearly all with overall survival as a primary endpoint.
“The study involved review of data from 51 lung cancer clinical trials (total target enrollment, 13,072 patients) sponsored or endorsed by the Eastern Oncology Cooperative Group. Prevalence of prior primary cancer diagnoses among lung cancer patients was estimated using the Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results (SEER)-Medicare linked database…
“Overall, 41 trials (80%) excluded patients with prior cancer diagnosis, including any prior diagnosis (14%), diagnosis within 5 years (43%), diagnosis within 2 to 3 years (7%), and diagnosis of active cancer (16%). In SEER-Medicare data on 210,509 lung cancer patients, 56% of prior cancers were diagnosed within 5 years before lung cancer diagnosis. The estimated proportion of patients excluded from lung cancer trials due to prior cancer diagnosis ranged from 0% to 18%.”