A limited number of radiation therapy and the lack of research funding for such research affect the patients, considering that radiation is the cornerstone of cancer treatment around the world, say researchers in China.
Dr. Ma and colleagues loaded the records of all 243,758 interventional oncology trials registered in ClinicalTrials.gov from June 2007 to May 2017 and included 25,907 in a cross-sectional analysis.
Only 5.3% were studies of radiation therapy, said Dr. Ma and colleagues in oncology JAMA, May 17.
Radiation tests were less likely than other cancer research that have been registered (55.7% vs. 65.9%). They were less prone to blinding (3.3% vs. 11.3%), involve several geographical regions (2.4% vs. 9.5%) or sponsorship (5.8% vs. 43.4%).
In contrast, radiation test were more likely than other cancer research phase were from 2 to 3 (68.8% vs. 57.9%) and had a data monitoring (66.4% vs. 55.7%).
The number in radiotherapy studies sponsored by the US National Institutes of Health, has fallen from 80 out of 544 studies (14.7%) in 2007-2012 to 72 of 834 samples (8.6%) in the 2012-2017 years.
In addition, during the same period, the proportion of radiation studies involving over 100 patients has decreased from 28.5% to 18.8%.
"While advanced techniques have enabled radiation oncologists to give the exact dose in different areas of the body - a strategy called" dosing painting "- field radiation doses or fractions that are used in the clinic, is still largely empirical.
"To change this situation, it is necessary to conduct more clinical trials, and we need a better understanding of radiation biology," - he said.
Dr. Kevin Du, a radiologist at the New York University Cancer New York, told Reuters Health, the study shows that there is a huge and not to determine the clinical space (for radiation therapy), which, when the study is an opportunity to improve patient outcomes and increase the level of cancer therapy. "
"There is considerable evidence that radiation therapy synergizes with new cancer treatments, including immunotherapy and other targeted therapies, and it should be investigated in clinical trials", - he said.
"In fact, - he added - recent American Society for Radiation Oncology has issued a position statement advocating for the development of such a combined test, and there is a real and immediate opportunity for partnership in this important work among such areas as production."