Nurse Awards

Encouraging higher enrolment in bone cancer clinical trials

Winner: Research exploring the perception and experiences of bone cancer trials among teenagers and young adults has yielded potential strategies for increasing their enrolment in the future.

Verna LavenderVerna Lavender. Picture credit: Barney Newman

Survival rates for bone cancer have seen less improvement compared with those for other cancers, remaining at 50%-60% after five years following diagnosis. It has a peak incidence in teenagers and young adults, but previous studies struggled to recruit from this age group.

The Bone Cancer Research Trust’s study – Perceptions of Patients and Professionals about Clinical Trial Participation – was nurse-developed and led, and their work has been shortlisted in the Cancer Research UK sponsored Excellence in Cancer Research category of the RCNi Nurse Awards 2016.

The team includes Susie Pearce and Alexandra Brownsdon from University College London Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust; Professor Faith Gibson from London South Bank University and Great Ormond Street Hospital; and Verna Lavender from Oxford Brookes University.

Alexandra BrownsdonAlexandra Brownsdon. Picture credit: Barney Newman

They conducted semi-structured interviews using narrative inquiry with 21 young people aged 15 to 24, as well as 18 healthcare professionals. The young people were eligible for recruitment to the Euramos-1 and Euro-Ewing 99 clinical trials and were interviewed six to 32 months post-diagnosis at a teenage and young adult treatment centre.

The study found that factors influencing their participation include the importance and design of the clinical trial; communicating with young people in an age-specific manner; using language young people are comfortable with; and support from family, peers and professionals. The environment in which the teenager or young adult was being treated was also deemed important, as was the involvement of a clinical nurse specialist.

Senior lecturer in cancer care Verna Lavender says: ‘We are delighted and excited to have been shortlisted for the RCNi Excellence in Cancer Research Award, and we welcome any publicity that raises the profile of this important field of research.

‘Our aim was to improve outcomes for young people with bone cancer, which we know are influenced by participation in clinical trials. We hope our findings, alongside further research, will contribute to strategies that increase enrolment of teenagers and young adults in clinical trials.’

About the sponsor

Cancer Research UKCancer Research UK

Cancer Research UK is the world’s leading charity dedicated to beating cancer through research. It is committed to improving the lives of those affected by cancer and discovering kinder, more effective treatments for patients. Cancer Research UK supports more than 250 clinical trials across the UK, helping to bring forward the day when all cancers are cured. Joining a clinical trial may have benefits for patients, as well as helping new treatments become available. Its unique clinical trials database lists all trials around the UK supported by Cancer Research UK and others. Searchable by trial name, cancer type or location, the database includes details of trials recruiting patients, as well as results from earlier trials. Written specifically for patients, it provides reliable, easy to understand information and is updated daily. Visit the clinical trials database at CRUK.org/trials.