Research into teenage and young adults’ cancer has made slower progress than for any other age group. One reason is that many clinical trials exclude patients under 18 – without medical justification.
To confront this problem, the Working Group on Fostering Age Inclusive Research (or FAIR Trials) was established in 2017 by the ACCELERATE Forum. Made up of 15 experts from Academia, Industry and Parents/Patients advocacy, the group aims to raise awareness and promote change.
Spring 2019 has brought statements of support for age inclusive research from three major international health forums.
‘The European Medicines Agency (EMA) and its Paediatric Committee (PDCO) follow closely and with great interest the Accelerate’s FAIR (Foster Age-Inclusive Research) initiative… We sincerely appreciate your efforts and hope we can all continue to work together to improve the development of medicines for children with cancer.’
‘As part of the responsibility to provide better medicines for children, the European Forum for Good Clinical Practice strongly recommends:
That researchers, regulators, and members of ethics committees weigh the totality of physiologic, pathologic, and other disease specific evidence to consider adolescent inclusion in adult research and vice versa – young adults as an extension population in paediatric/adolescent studies – when relevant as a trial methodology to facilitate earlier access to investigational and approved medicines for adolescent patients.’
‘The US Food and Drugs Administration recommends the inclusion of adolescent patients in disease- and target-appropriate adult oncology clinical trials to enable earlier access to investigational and approved drugs for adolescent patients with cancer.’
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