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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 …
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.