In March 2001, the National Colorectal Cancer Research Alliance (NCCRA) and OncoLink established a database to facilitate patient enrollment onto clinical trials.
Dr Wei and colleagues from Philadelphia in America undertook a study in order to describe the population registering with the database.
The researchers identified discrepancies between individuals registering through the Internet and those registering through a telephone call center.
Participants registered with the NCCRA/OncoLink database through the Internet or a telephone call center.
The researchers produced a questionnaire for all participants entering the database regarding basic demographics, colon cancer risk factors, and indicated how they became aware of the database.
The research team then made comparisons between individuals registering through the Internet and those registering through the telephone call center.
The researchers included a total of 2,162 participants who had all registered during the first 16 months of the database.
|Participants registering through the Internet were younger than those registering through the call center|
|Journal of Clinical Oncology|
Most patients registered through the Internet rather than the telephone call center.
The researchers noted that more females than males registered and the majority (89%) were found to be white.
In addition, the research team observed that participants registering through the Internet were younger than those registering through the call center.
However, there was no difference between the two groups with regard to sex or ethnicity.
Dr Wei concluded, "The Internet has the potential to increase the likelihood that interested individuals find appropriate clinical trials."
"Some of the discrepancies that are known to exist for access to the Internet were also seen for those registering with the database through the Internet."
"Despite these differences, the potential to increase clinical trial enrollment with this type of Internet-based database is high."