Oncology patients' experiences in experimental medicine cancer trials: a qualitative study

Chelsea Sawyer, Laurie Preston, Sally Taylor, Michelle Davies, Louise Carter, Matthew Krebs, Natalie Cook, Donna Graham, Fiona Thistlethwaite, Janelle Yorke

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objectives: The study aimed to explore patients’ experiences of experimental cancer medicine (ECM) clinical trials.

Design: The study’s design was qualitative. Two focus groups with patients were undertaken followed by semi structured interviews, to explore patients’ experiences of ECM clinical trials. Interviews and focus groups were audio recorded and transcribed verbatim. Data were analysed using thematic analysis.

Setting: A regional cancer centre (tertiary care) in North-West England.

Participants: Twelve patients (aged 52–79) participated in one of the two focus groups and 22 patients (aged 42–83) participated in interviews.

Primary outcome measure: Patients’ experiences of an ECM trial.

Results: Four main themes were identified from the analysis: decision making, information needs, the experience of trial participation and impact of trial participation. Subthemes are presented in the manuscript.

Conclusion: To make fully informed decisions about trial participation, patients required the simplification of trial information and wanted more information about side effects, their response to trial treatment and the overall trial progress throughout the trial. Patients highlighted the need for improvement for the support provided to their family and friends.
Original languageEnglish
Article number047813
JournalBMJ Open
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 5 Oct 2021


  • Biomedical Research
  • Focus Groups
  • Humans
  • Medical Oncology
  • Neoplasms/therapy
  • Qualitative Research
  • adult oncology
  • clinical trials
  • qualitative research


Dive into the research topics of 'Oncology patients' experiences in experimental medicine cancer trials: a qualitative study'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this