Ten year trends of participation of teenagers and young adults (TYA) in selected NIHR National Cancer Research Network trials


Session type:

Lorna Fern1,Seema Alexander1,Jeremy Whelan2
1National Cancer Research Institute,2University College London Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust



We previously reported improvements in recruitment to selected cancer clinical trials for teenagers and young adults (15-24 yrs) during 2005-10. This was related to the ‘5As’ which describes a strategy to maximise opportunities for research participation.


  • Appropriate: eligibility criteria is permissive of TYA inclusion
  • Availability: Trials available for rare cancers affecting young people
  • Access: Study is open where young people are being treated
  • Acceptability: Trial question and design is acceptable to both professionals and TYA
  • Awareness: Professional and patient awareness of trials and the importance of offering entry.


We repeated our analysis to determine if accrual rates (AR) for TYA had continued to improve since the last reporting period, 2005-10.


We analysed AR by age to NIHR CRN interventional Phase I/II/III trials recruiting newly diagnosed patients to leukaemia; lymphoma; sarcoma; male germ cell; brain and central nervous system. AR were expressed as the ratio of patients entering trials during April 1st2005-March 31st2015 and compared to relevant incidence cases for 2005-14.


Preliminary analysis demonstrates the upward trend in AR for 0-24 year olds has not been sustained. AR peaked in 2010 for 15-24 year olds, followed by year by year decrease in accrual rates. In 2010, accrual for 15-19 year olds had increased to 37.4%, compared to 24.1% in 2005 and has now fallen to 14.5% in 2014. In 2010 accrual for 20-24 year olds was 18.1%, compared to 13.5% in 2005 depreciating to 6.1% in 2014. The number of available trials in 2010 was 21 compared to 10 in 2015.


The trend for improvements in AR for TYA have not been sustained since 2010. This is related to closure of key trials for TYA and limited availability of trials in rare cancers. The time taken between trials closing and subsequent trials opening also impacted accrual rates.