Article Text

Download PDFPDF
Early phase antitumour clinical trials and palliative medicine
  1. Farzana Virani1,
  2. Matthew Carey1,
  3. Farasat Kazmi2,
  4. Sarah Blagden2,
  5. Simon Lord2 and
  6. Mary Miller1
  1. 1Palliative Medicine, Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, Oxford, UK
  2. 2Oncology, Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, Oxford, UK
  1. Correspondence to Dr Farzana Virani, Palliative Medicine, Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, Oxford, OX3 7LJ, UK; farzana.virani{at}

Statistics from

Request Permissions

If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.

Patients in early-phase antitumour clinical trials (EPCT) have generally completed all standard of care treatment options and have consented to receive experimental treatments. As many EPCT are first-in-human studies, their toxicity and efficacy profiles are uncertain. Furthermore, as there are few centres offering EPCT in the UK, patients are often referred from other geographical locations and are dislocated from their local support services.

By the nature of their continued quest for effective treatments, EPCT patients are described as highly motivated and are understood to be therapeutic optimists. In one study, 90% would risk an experimental drug with a 10% chance of mortality.1 Thus, there is some hesitation that conflicting philosophies between palliative medicine and EPCT may preclude patients’ willingness to engage with palliative services.2

Existing studies suggest that collaboration is feasible, could promote smoother transitions from a curative focus to care at …

View Full Text


  • Twitter @dr_mary_miller

  • Contributors FV wrote the manuscript and analysed the data presented. MC and FV provided the palliative medicine service. FK, SB, SL and MM reviewed the content and contributed to the manuscript.

  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; internally peer reviewed.