Research Biopsies: An integrative review of the experiences of patients with cancer

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Research biopsies (RBs) are essential to understanding tumor biology and mechanisms of resistance and to advancing precision medicine. However, RBs have associated risks and may not benefit the patient.


The purpose of this integrative review is to summarize and synthesize the current literature on the experience, attitudes, and understanding of patients with cancer related to RBs.


Articles from January 2010 to February 2017 were retrieved via a search of MEDLINE®. Articles included reported on the willingness, perceptions, understanding, attitudes, and/or experience of patients with cancer related to RBs.


Nine of 216 identified studies were selected. Studies exploring patient willingness to undergo RBs (n = 6) identified RBs as a potential barrier to clinical trial participation. Studies exploring patient understanding and informed consent (n = 3) revealed variable patient knowledge of the risks and benefits of RBs.

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