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Unger JM, Blanke CD, LeBlanc M, Hershman DL. Association of the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) Outbreak With Enrollment in Cancer Clinical Trials. JAMA Netw Open. 2020;3(6):e2010651. doi:10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2020.10651
Enrollment in clinical trials is key in advancing new treatments for patients with cancer. Poor accrual can result in trials that fail to complete or generate less timely research findings for patients in need of better therapies. The outbreak of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) has caused severe disruptions in care for many patients—especially patients with cancer, who are more susceptible to infections because of underlying malignant neoplasms or therapy—in an effort to reduce patient and staff exposure and to preserve resources. Given systemwide changes, some institutions in areas with high rates of COVID-19 have stopped all enrollment in interventional trials, while others have made minor changes. An important question is how the COVID-19 pandemic is associated with national enrollment in cancer clinical trials.
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