An exploration of the relationship between funding and patient accrual to oncology clinical trials: Additional Funding Intervention Trial (AFIT) (#228)
Since 1988, Cancer Council Victoria’s (CCV’s) Clinical Trials Management Scheme (CTMS) has retrospectively awarded funding to departments coordinating oncology clinical trials. Analysis of the CTMS data, indicates there may be a positive relationship between funding allocated to sites and the number of new participants accrued to oncology clinical trials. To explore this relationship, CCV’s Clinical Network was awarded a $1M grant from the Victorian Cancer Agency, to implement AFIT in 2013.
The 43 clinical trial sites funded by the CTMS in 2012 were eligible to participate. Five sites were excluded and four opted out. From these, the 34 sites were stratified into four groups based on 2011 recruitment numbers and randomised into control and intervention arms. Payments allocated to intervention sites range from $6750 - $234K and the average payment was approximately $50K. The study is not prescriptive about how funding is to be spent by sites, only that it is spent with the intention of increasing patient accrual.
Patient accrual data for AFIT will be collected in early 2014. The parameters to be examined include: comparisons between intervention sites and control sites of total recruitment of new participants into clinical trials; a comparison of reported full time equivalent personnel between intervention and control sites and assessments of how the AFIT intervention funding was utilised based on survey responses. Clinical trial recruitment will continue to be monitored post 2013 through the normal CTMS mechanism, enabling monitoring of any long-term study effects.
AFIT aims to ensure how CCV can best continue to support oncology clinical trials research in Victoria. Although there are limitations to the study, it is the first research study of its type internationally. AFIT will also be useful for government and hospital decision-makers to inform their work in cancer clinical trials.