LUNGevity Foundation, the nation’s leading lung cancer-focused nonprofit organization, is pleased to announce the publication of recommendations that will create more opportunities for patients to participate in potentially lifesaving clinical trials. The Foundation’s manuscript “Making Lung Cancer Clinical Trials More Inclusive: Recommendations for Expanding Eligibility Criteria” appears in the current issue of the esteemed medical journal, the Journal of Thoracic Oncology (JTO). The article, which was co-authored by members of the Expanded Eligibility working group of the LUNGevity Scientific and Clinical Roundtable initiative, provides recommendations for expanding overly restrictive eligibility criteria in clinical trials.
Previously, the exclusions in eligibility criteria for clinical trials prevented as many as 50% of lung cancer patients from participating as part of trials. The Foundation’s recommendations, which include expanding criteria around brain metastases, history of previous malignancies, and reduced performance status, intend to enable more lung cancer patients to have access to innovative therapies.
“As a Foundation, we have been working with multiple stakeholders to create clinical trials that are effective and accessible to more patients,” Andrea Ferris, President and CEO of LUNGevity, says. “New options in lung cancer treatment are evolving rapidly, and patients need to be able to access them. The publication is a big step toward our goal of expanding clinical trial eligibility, and one that can potentially benefit a lot of lung cancer patients.”
LUNGevity works to improve access to care, particularly by addressing regulatory issues and barriers to participation in clinical research. The multi-stakeholder LUNGevity Scientific and Clinical Roundtable initiative, which includes the Expanded Eligibility work group, endeavors to identify and prioritize opportunities to streamline clinical trials and make them more accessible to patients.
Clinical trials are a critical resource for the discovery of new tools to prevent, diagnose, and treat lung cancer in its various forms. Recent scientific and drug-development advances have created new opportunities and complexities in today’s lung cancer treatment and research paradigm. LUNGevity will continue to advocate for clinical trial reform and for patient access to all emerging opportunities in new targeted agents, immunotherapies, and combination approaches.