A comparison of screening methods in two early phase oral leukoplakia clinical trials

Oral Dis. 2012 Oct;18(7):720-3. doi: 10.1111/j.1601-0825.2012.01934.x. Epub 2012 Apr 24.


Objectives/introduction: Clinical trial accrual for oral dysplasia is difficult in the United States and elsewhere. Patients with dysplastic oral leukoplakia progress to frank invasive carcinoma at a rate of 5-37% over 5 years. We compared two clinical trial screening efforts to hopefully devise better accrual strategies to these types of clinical trials.

Methods: For the first trial, we identified 244 patients with dysplastic oral leukoplakia in our university database and a media campaign. Patients were notified and screened by examination and biopsy. For the second clinical trial, we established a preneoplastic lesions clinic and teaching and communications network with regional oral healthcare professionals.

Results: Only one of 244 patients accrued to the first clinical trial through an organized screening effort based on database/medical records review. The second clinical trial accrued 16/30 screened patients through redirected efforts in teaching, communications, and a preneoplastic lesions clinic.

Conclusion: We conclude that significant difficulties resulted from medical record/database review of leukoplakia patients as a screening method for leukoplakia clinical trial entry. We feel that persistent direct contact and education of healthcare professionals who are likely to examine leukoplakia patients improved accrual to the second clinical trial.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Clinical Trials as Topic*
  • Databases, Factual
  • Health Personnel / education
  • Humans
  • Leukoplakia, Oral* / diagnosis
  • Leukoplakia, Oral* / drug therapy
  • Mass Screening / methods*
  • Patient Selection*
  • United States