Treatment Setting, Clinical Trial Enrollment, and Subsequent Outcomes Among Adolescents With Cancer: A Literature Review
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Treatment Setting, Clinical Trial Enrollment, and Subsequent Outcomes Among Adolescents With Cancer: A Literature Review

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      There has been an overall improvement in survival rates for persons with cancer over the past 35 years. However, these gains are less prevalent among adolescents with cancer aged 15 to 19 years, which may be due to lower clinical trial enrollment among adolescents with cancer.


      We conducted a literature review to assess current research regarding clinical trial enrollment and subsequent outcomes among adolescents with cancer. The search included English-language publications that reported original data from January 1985 to October 2011.


      The search identified 539 records. Of these 539 records, there were 30 relevant original research articles. Multiple studies reported that adolescents with cancer are enrolled in clinical trials at lower rates compared with younger children and older adults. Treatment setting, physician type, and institution type may all be factors in the low enrollment rate among adolescents. Few data focused solely on adolescents, with many studies combining adolescents with young adults. The number of available studies related to this topic was limited, with significant variability in study design, methods, and outcomes.


      This literature review suggests that adolescents with cancer are not treated at optimal settings and are enrolled in clinical trials at low rates. This may lead to inferior treatment and poor subsequent medical and psychosocial outcomes. The scarcity in data further validates the need for additional research focusing on this population.

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