Send to

Choose Destination
J Clin Oncol. 2012 Aug 10;30(23):2869-75. doi: 10.1200/JCO.2011.40.8815. Epub 2012 Jun 11.

Tobacco assessment in actively accruing National Cancer Institute Cooperative Group Program Clinical Trials.

Author information

Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, CT, USA.



Substantial evidence suggests that tobacco use has adverse effects on cancer treatment outcomes; however, routine assessment of tobacco use has not been fully incorporated into standard clinical oncology practice. The purpose of this study was to evaluate tobacco use assessment in patients enrolled onto actively accruing cancer clinical trials.


Protocols and forms for 155 actively accruing trials in the National Cancer Institute's (NCI's) Clinical Trials Cooperative Group Program were evaluated for tobacco use assessment at enrollment and follow-up by using a structured coding instrument.


Of the 155 clinical trials reviewed, 45 (29%) assessed any form of tobacco use at enrollment, but only 34 (21.9%) assessed current cigarette use. Only seven trials (4.5%) assessed any form of tobacco use during follow-up. Secondhand smoke exposure was captured in 2.6% of trials at enrollment and 0.6% during follow-up. None of the trials assessed nicotine dependence or interest in quitting at any point during enrollment or treatment. Tobacco status assessment was higher in lung/head and neck trials as well as phase III trials, but there was no difference according to year of starting accrual or cooperative group.


Most actively accruing cooperative group clinical trials do not assess tobacco use, and there is no observable trend in improvement over the past 8 years. Failure to incorporate standardized tobacco assessments into NCI-funded Cooperative Group Clinical Trials will limit the ability to provide evidence-based cessation support and will limit the ability to accurately understand the precise effect of tobacco use on cancer treatment outcomes.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Atypon Icon for PubMed Central
Loading ...
Support Center