This Notice of Special Interest informs current awardees of National Cancer Institute (NCI) cancer prevention and symptom management clinical trial grants of an opportunity for supplemental funding of eligible NCI-supported grant and cooperative agreement awards so that awardees can undertake and evaluate recruitment and retention strategies and thereby facilitate the success of their clinical trial programs.
Efficient recruitment and retention of diverse clinical trial participants has been notoriously difficult to achieve in all disease settings. Prominent barriers to timely completion of accrual to cancer prevention and symptom management clinical trials include organizational factors (e.g., inadequate staffing, limited clinic hours, complex procedures and urban locations), participant reluctance (due to research risk concerns or limited awareness of clinical trials), logistical issues (e.g., transportation, time commitment) and objectionable protocol elements (e.g., extra clinic visits, invasive procedures, strict eligibility criteria and agent toxicity) have been. In addition, these factors along with institutional, socio-economic, and cultural disincentives contribute to the inadequate enrollment of minority and underserved populations. Robust strategies are clearly needed to overcome these obstacles across all populations. Furthermore, reports of rigorous evaluations of effects of recruitment and retention strategies would provide evidence-based guidance for future clinical trial recruitment planning, which is currently lacking.