Attitudes of Patients With Gastrointestinal Cancers Toward Research Biopsies
Research biopsies are an increasingly important component of clinical trials, but there are concerns that biopsies may deter patients from participating in research.Patients and Methods:
Patients participating in a single-center study investigating the feasibility of molecular profiling in advanced gastrointestinal cancers were asked to complete a questionnaire regarding their reasons for consenting/declining optional research biopsies and blood samples. These samples were mainly for exploratory translational research and were unlikely to influence patients' treatment.Results:
One hundred ninety-six (88%) of the 222 patients registered in the study completed the questionnaire. One hundred twenty-six patients (64%) stated they consented to a biopsy and 180 patients (92%) to blood sample collection. Male patients (P = .033) and patients with a good performance status (PS) were more willing to consent to a biopsy (79% for PS 0, 63% for PS 1, 43% for PS 2; P = .012). Eighty-eight patients (70%) who consented to a biopsy gave an altruistic reason (eg, to help research and/or others) as a reason why they consented. Only 8 patients (6%) consented solely because they believed it might influence their treatment. Reasons for declining biopsies included a wish to avoid additional procedures (n = 18; 29%) and previous unpleasant biopsy experiences (n = 9; 15%).Conclusion:
Many patients with advanced gastrointestinal cancer appear willing to undergo biopsies for exploratory research purposes. In our study, patients who consented to a biopsy mainly did so for altruistic reasons and/or a wish to contribute to scientific research.
Little is known about patients' attitudes toward research biopsies. A total of 222 patients with advanced gastrointestinal cancers in a molecular profiling study were asked to complete a questionnaire about their reasons for consenting/declining optional research biopsies. Many patients were willing to undergo research biopsies and were frequently motivated by altruistic reasons and/or a wish to contribute to scientific research.