Jump to:  A   |   B   |   C   |   D   |   E   |   F   |   G   |   H   |   I   |   J   |   K   |   L   |   M   |   N   |   O   |   P   |   Q   |   R   |   S   |   T   |   U   |   V   |   W   |   X   |   Y

Fewer Kids in Cancer Trials, Which Might Not Be a Bad Thing

Fewer Kids in Cancer Trials, Which Might Not Be a Bad Thing

TUESDAY, May 5, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- There's been a sharp decline in the number of U.S. children taking part in cancer clinical trials over the past few decades, but researchers say that might be good news.

Why? Having more effective treatments available now may be one reason for that decrease, they explained.

The researchers, from the University of Colorado Cancer Center, analyzed national data and found that pediatric oncology clinical trial enrollment fell from 40-70% in the 1990s, to 20-25% in the early 2000s, and to 19.9% currently.

Historically, pediatric cancer patients have been much more likely than adult cancer patients to enroll in clinical trials as part of their treatment, according to the authors.

"Childhood cancer is rare overall, so historically high enrollment rates to clinical trials has been integral to improving outcomes for our patients," explained study first author Dr. Kelly Faulk, cancer center investigator and pediatric oncologist at Children's Hospital Colorado.

"The potential reduction in enrollment isn't all bad news," Faulk added in a university news release. "One reason trial enrollment may be decreasing is that good treatments have been developed for some of the most common childhood cancers, thereby shifting the focus and resources toward opening trials for higher-risk, but often more rare, cancers."

Also, childhood cancers tend to have fewer mutations than adult cancers, so they provide fewer genetic targets for the kinds of new drugs being tested in many clinical trials, Faulk noted.

But a less positive factor is a lack of funding for childhood cancer research, which limits the number of new clinical trials.

Faulk and her colleagues found no significant racial, ethnic or socioeconomic disparities within childhood cancer clinical trial enrollment, unlike many adult clinical trials.

However, this study did find that teens and young adults are under-enrolled in cancer clinical trials.

"They can feel lost between pediatric and adult cancer care, and unfortunately these [teen and young adult] patients represent a population that has failed to see the same improvements in outcomes that their younger counterparts have," Faulk said.

"Given their age and other socioeconomic factors, they may not see doctors as often and commonly suffer from suboptimal health insurance coverage," she said.

The study was published online recently in the journal PLOS One.

More information

The American Cancer Society has more about cancer in children.

SOURCE: University of Colorado Cancer Center, news release, April 23, 2020

Reviewed Date: --

Find a pediatrician
Hematology and Oncology
Dr. Wilson File
Dr. Eric Lowe
Dr. Melissa Mark
Dr. William Owen
Dr. Linda Pegram
Dr. Katherine Watson
Dr. Eric Werner
Health Tips
Helping Kids Get Over their Fears
How Old Is "Old Enough" for Contacts?
Quizzes
Leukemia Quiz
NewsLetters
6 Tips for Life as a Cancer Survivor
Diseases & Conditions
About Cancer
Alternative Therapy for Cancer
Anatomy of a Child's Brain
Anatomy of the Endocrine System in Children
Anxiety Disorders in Children
Asthma in Children Index
Becker Muscular Dystrophy (BMD) in Children
Bone Cancers in Children
Bone Marrow Transplant for Children
Brain Tumors in Children
Cancer Treatment for Children
Causes of Cancer
Chemotherapy for Children: Side Effects
Coping with a Diagnosis of Cancer in Children
Diagnosing Cancer
Ewing Sarcoma in Children
Firearms
Hepatitis B Virus (HBV) in Children
Inflammatory and Infectious Musculoskeletal Disorders
Inflammatory and Infectious Neurological Disorders
Inguinal Hernia in Children
Insect Bites and Children
Kidney Transplantation in Children
Leukemia in Children
Meningitis in Children
Mood Disorders in Children and Adolescents
Myasthenia Gravis (MG) in Children
Nutritional Requirements for a Child With Cancer
Osteosarcoma (Osteogenic Sarcoma) in Children
Pediatric Blood Disorders
Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) in Children
Preparing the School-Aged Child for Surgery
Schizophrenia in Children
School-Aged Child Nutrition
Sports Safety for Children
Superficial Injuries of the Face and Head- Overview
Television and Children
Thalassemia
The Growing Child: 2-Year-Olds
The Heart
The Kidneys
Your Child's Asthma
Your Child's Asthma: Flare-ups

Disclaimer: This information is not intended to substitute or replace the professional medical advice you receive from your child's physician. The content provided on this page is for informational purposes only, and was not designed to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease. Please consult your child's physician with any questions or concerns you may have regarding a medical condition.