Patients would consider additional tests for new cancer treatment

Surveyed cancer patients indicated that they would be willing to undergo additional medical tests, imaging studies, and biopsies as part of new advanced experimental treatments in early-stage clinical trials, according to a new online study published in the journal, Cancer.

These responses may give a boost to the use of personalized medicine, which calls for specified treatments to be used in relation to the genetic makeup of a patient's tumor, according to the researchers from Mayo Clinic and Translational Genomics Research Institute in Phoenix, and Scottsdale (Ariz.) Healthcare.

Overall, the 61 patients interviewed were most willing to undergo urine, blood, ultrasound, X-rays, echocardiogram, PET, and CAT scan studies; they were least willing to undergo tumor and skin biopsies and MRIs.

However, most patients were at least willing to give one tumor biopsy sample per study--and often two, the study said. The study is scheduled for print publication in the July 15 edition of Cancer.

This is the first study of its kind where patients were asked about receiving additional tests--and their perception about the  invasiveness of such tests--while participating in clinical studies for their cancer, said Raoul Tibes, MD, PhD, a physician-scientist at Mayo and lead author of the study.

"This study will provide valuable information, collected from actual patients, thereby informing clinical investigations in an era where we have more and more molecular-targeted therapies available, and our studies are more and more complex," Tibes said.

For more details:
- see the Mayo Clinic release
- read the HealthDay News story