Institut Bergonié, 180, rue de Saint-Genès, 33076 Bordeaux Cedex, France.
In early 1996 a postal investigation was done among french medical oncologists to have their opinion about practical application of the law about clinical research. 58.3 % answered, the majority of them having practice in public hospitals or cancer centers and teaching activities. All but 2 had been involved in such a research, half of them as main investigator of at least 1 trial. Two types of difficulties are declared : (1) methodological ones, to select patients, follow them up, fill in the different forms for administrative purpose ; (2) relational ones, to inform patients, particularly on randomization of their treatment, due to potentially lethal course of their cancer. The majority of answering oncologists acknowledge the importance of such a research and the necessary rigorous methodology. Following their opinions, improvements should come from a better training of physicians and from an increase of human and material means to perform such a research.