Effect of patient socioeconomic status on access to early-phase cancer trials.

Posted: Jan 17, 2013
J Clin Oncol. 31. 2. 224-30.
KEYWORDS: Underserved, International, Eligibility, Older Adults, Minority Groups, Cancer, Phase 0,1,2


Socioeconomically deprived and elderly patients were less likely to be referred to an early phase cancer trial; however, after referral, enrollment was not affected.

Why this item may be useful

Ensuring diversity in Phase I trials may inform the design of later phase trials. Socioeconomic status may predict outcomes independent of ethnicity and was the focus of this study in England. Both SES and older age predicted lower referral rates for trials. This may be because more-deprived patients are less suitable for a trial as a result of comorbidities and, therefore, clinicians do not refer them. However, once referred, these groups enrolled at a similar rate. The authors suggest that targeted recruitment that focuses on more-deprived communities may help broaden the diversity of trial populations.


  • The study was conducted in the UK universal health care system.
  • The disparities might be higher in other settings where ability to pay plays a part.
  • Socioeconomic status was defined by the Index of Multiple Deprivation (IMD; 1, least deprived; 5, most deprived).