Behavioral facets of cancer chemoprevention trials

Karen Suchanek Hudmon, The University of Texas School of Public Health


Few studies have explored factors related to participation in cancer chemoprevention trials. The purpose of this dissertation was to conduct investigations in this emerging field by studying aspects of participation at three phases of cancer chemoprevention trials: at enrollment, during a placebo run-in period, and post-trial. In all three studies, subjects had a history of cancer and were at high risk of recurrence or second primary tumors. The first study explored correlates of enrollment in a head and neck cancer chemoprevention trial by comparing participants and eligible nonparticipants. Of 148 subjects who met the trial's preliminary eligibility criteria, 40% enrolled. In multivariate analysis, enrollment was positively associated with being male (OR 2.36) and being employed (OR 2.73). The most commonly cited reason for declining participation among nonparticipants was transportation. The second study examined outcomes of an eight-week placebo run-in period in a head and neck cancer chemoprevention trial. Of 391 subjects, 91.3% were randomized after the run-in. Adherence to drug capsules ranged from 0% to 120.3% (mean $\pm$ SD, 95.8% $\pm$ 15.1). In multivariate analysis, the main variable predicting run-in outcome was race; white subjects were 3.45 times more likely to be randomized than non-white subjects. Subjects with Karnofsky scores of 100 were 2.13 times more likely to be randomized than were subjects with lower scores. The third study used post-trial questionnaires to assess subjects' (n = 64) perceptions of participation in a cancer chemoprevention trial. The most highly rated trial benefit was the perception of potential colon cancer prevention, and the most troublesome barrier was erroneous billing for study visits. Perceived benefits were positively associated with interest in participating in future trials of the same (p = 0.05) and longer (p = 0.02) duration, and difficulty with trial pills and procedures was inversely related to interest in future placebo-controlled trials (p = 0.01). These are among the first behavioral studies to be completed in the rapidly growing field of cancer chemoprevention. Much work has yet to be done, however, to advance our understanding of the complex issues relating to chemoprevention trial participation.

Subject Area

Public health|Behaviorial sciences|Health education|Oncology

Recommended Citation

Hudmon, Karen Suchanek, "Behavioral facets of cancer chemoprevention trials" (1995). Texas Medical Center Dissertations (via ProQuest). AAI9620776.