Interventions to improve access to clinical trials in urologic oncology


  • Adam Hass Zucker School of Medicine at Hofstra/Northwell, New York
  • Jonathan C.A. Guzman Department of Urology, Lenox Hill Hospital, New York
  • Michael A. Feuerstein Department of Urology, Lenox Hill Hospital, New York



Clinical trials, Urologic oncology, Patient accrual, Literature review, Patient recruitment


INTRODUCTION: Most cancer patients are never enrolled in clinical trials, resulting in missed potential therapeutic benefits to patients and barriers to drug development and approval. With a focus on urologic oncology clinical trials, we reviewed the current literature on barriers to accrual and present effective interventions to overcome these barriers.

METHODS: PubMed was searched for articles regarding physician referral and patient accrual to clinical trials in urologic oncology from January 2000 through June 2021. Studies were included if they were in English, related to clinical trial utilization or patient accrual in urologic oncology, peer-reviewed, primary research, survey, or systematic review, and pertained to clinical trials in the U.S. Major overlapping themes related to barriers to accrual and effective interventions were identified.

RESULTS: Thirty-six studies met our inclusion criteria. Barriers fall into three categories: 1) provider; 2) patient; or 3) structural. Provider barriers include issues such as poor funding, logistical challenges, and time constraints. Patient barriers include cost, distrust of medical institutions, and lack of knowledge regarding ongoing studies. Structural barriers include lack of time and resources in community settings and difficulty with physician referrals. Effective strategies identified include increasing provider referrals through continuing education and referral pathways, increasing patient education through patient-centered marketing material, and decreasing structural barriers through patient navigation programs and community partnerships.

CONCLUSIONS: We identified barriers and potential multipronged strategies targeted at patients, providers, and practices to increase clinical trial enrollment. We hope these strategies will benefit patients and providers and facilitate research development.


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How to Cite

Hass, A., Guzman, J. C., & Feuerstein, M. A. . (2022). Interventions to improve access to clinical trials in urologic oncology. Canadian Urological Association Journal, 17(3), E67–74.



Original Research