Improving first-in-human and window-of-opportunity informed consent forms through participant feedback

Improving first-in-human and window-of-opportunity informed consent forms through participant feedback
Anna Avinger, Hannah Claire Sibold, Gavin Paul Campbell, Eli Rowe Abernethy, John Bourgeois, Tekiah McClary, Shannon M. Blee, Margie D. Dixon, R. Donald Harvey, Rebecca D. Pentz
Journal of Clinical Oncology, 1 June 2022 [2022 ASCO Annual Meeting]
Open Access
Although patient advocates have created templates for standard consent forms, assessing patient preferences for First in Human (FIH) and Window of Opportunity (WO) trials consents is important given their unique risks. FIH trials are the first time a drug is tested in humans. In WO trials, treatment naïve patients receive a therapeutic agent in the window of time between diagnosis and standard of care (SOC) surgery. Our goal was to determine patient-preferred presentation of important information in FIH and WO consent forms.
The study consisted of two phases: (1) analysis of consents for FIH and WO oncology trials open at a cancer center between 2019 and 2022; (2) interview patients who had reviewed consents for FIH or WO trials during the consent process. FIH consents were analyzed for the location(s) of information stating that the study drug has not been tested in humans (FIH info). The WO consents were analyzed for the location(s) of information stating the risk that trial may delay SOC surgery (WO info). Participants were asked about their preferred placement of the information in their own trial’s consent form and whether the consent was clear. Interviews were audio-recorded and double coded. Consent form analysis was compared to patients’ preferences.
25 consents [20 FIH; 5 WO] were analyzed. 19/20 FIH consent forms included FIH info, and 4/5 WO consent forms included WO info. 42 patients were approached [19 FIH; 23 WO]; 34 [17 FIH; 17 WO] participated. 12/17 (71%) WO participants thought that the trial explanation in the consent form was clear. Conversely, only 9/17 (53%) FIH participants found it clear.
Patients preferred that the important FIH and WO information be placed early in the consent, though exactly where varied. 82% of FIH participants wanted FIH information in the purpose, while only 19% of WO participants clearly preferred that WO information be in the purpose, and 41% preferred WO information to remain in the risks section. Using consent templates that reflect patient preferences accurately is essential for ethical informed consent; however, a one-size fits all approach may not accurately capture patient preferences, so multiple templates may be necessary.

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