Supplementary Material for: Patients' Perceptions of Research Biopsies in Phase I Oncology Trials

<b><i>Objective:</i></b> Research biopsies are increasingly incorporated into phase I oncology trials resulting in ethical and logistical challenges for patients and clinicians. Patients' understanding and willingness to undergo these biopsies are crucial. <b><i>Methods:</i></b> Over 12 months, we administered a questionnaire comprising three sections: demographics and previous cancer therapy, understanding of phase I trials and personalized medicine, and understanding of biopsies and associated risks. <b><i>Results:</i></b> Out of 56 patients approached, 47 patients completed the questionnaire. Overall, the patients were well informed about the concepts of personalized medicine and 89% (n = 42) were aware that early phase clinical trials aim to define a dose and explore side effects of new drugs. Interestingly, 76% (n = 36) expected early phase trials to improve symptoms, quality of life and survival. Offering hope and feeling in control of their treatment were important components for 80% (n = 38) and 57% (n = 27), respectively. The majority of this highly selective patient cohort understood the concept of research biopsies, with 59% (n = 28) willing to have a fresh research biopsy for trial participation. Although 72% (n = 34) felt that research biopsies should be optional, only 19% (n = 9) would not participate in a clinical trial with mandatory biopsies. Compared to diagnostic biopsies, the patients were less likely to accept associated risks with research biopsies. <b><i>Conclusion:</i></b> As research biopsies are crucial to many components of the drug development process, our study provides evidence for patients' overall willingness to undergo research biopsies for trial purposes. A consent process tailored to the biopsy site may help patients weigh up the associated risks versus benefits. © 2014 S. Karger AG, Basel