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  • Posted: 02/10/2009

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Enhancing Cancer Information Materials with Multimedia

Name of the Trial

Randomized Study of a Cancer Information Service Research Consortium Multimedia Educational Program in Patients with Early Stage Prostate or Breast Cancer (AMCCRC-08-0498). See the protocol summary.

Principal Investigator

Dr. Alfred Marcus Dr. Alfred Marcus
Principal Investigator

Dr. Alfred Marcus, AMC Cancer Research Center

Why This Trial Is Important

NCI's Cancer Information Service (CIS) provides cancer-related information to the public through the 1-800-4-CANCER toll-free number. In addition to answering questions about cancer, the CIS routinely mails relevant NCI print publications to callers. Researchers are testing in three separate trials whether adding a multimedia educational program to these print materials can help patients with prostate cancer (Trial #1) or breast cancer (Trial #2) make informed treatment choices, or help breast cancer patients prepare for life after treatment (Trial #3).

Patients with newly diagnosed prostate or breast cancer or who are finishing or recently completed treatment for breast cancer and who call the CIS for information will be invited to participate in one of these trials during the call. Participants will be randomly assigned to receive either standard print materials or the same print materials plus a related multimedia program. "We think that the multimedia programs will be more effective in empowering patients to make informed decisions about their cancer treatments and in helping them adjust to life post-treatment," said Dr. Marcus.

The multimedia programs include a virtual library, videos of specialists discussing the pros and cons of different treatment options or life after treatment for cancer, a notebook feature to store text information, a doctor-patient communication tutorial to help users frame questions for their healthcare team, and, for newly diagnosed patients, a tool to help them evaluate different treatment options.

Patients will be contacted 2 and 9 months after receiving the materials to assess their cancer-specific distress, emotional quality of life, physical functioning, and other outcomes.

Patients finishing treatment for breast cancer will also be randomly assigned to receive either a call back from the CIS 7 to 10 days after their first call or no further contact. As noted by Dr. Marcus, "If we can show through this trial that this new call-back strategy is acceptable and provides a benefit to callers, this could open up exciting new opportunities for extending the service of the CIS."

For More Information

See the lists of entry criteria and trial contact information.