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The trouble with trials

cancer_macs.jpg

Yesterday, as part of its "Forty Years' War" series on the fight against cancer, the New York Times tackled the problem of clinical trials. Nobody's participating in them, it seems:

There are more than 6,500 cancer clinical trials seeking adult patients, according to clinicaltrials.gov, a trials registry. But many will be abandoned along the way. More than one trial in five sponsored by the National Cancer Institute failed to enroll a single subject, and only half reached the minimum needed for a meaningful result, Dr. [Scott] Ramsey and his colleague John Scoggins reported in a recent review in The Oncologist.

The article goes on to outline the reasons for the dismal numbers and explores one possible solution. It's an eye-opening piece.

Photo of macrophages attacking a cancer cell by Raowf Guirguis, MD, and Susan Arnold, National Cancer Institute

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