The present study analyzed the characteristics of phase IV clinical trials in oncology using data from the ClinicalTrials.gov registry. The included trials were conducted between January 2013 and December 2022 and were examined for key characteristics, including outcome measures, interventions, sample sizes, and study design, different cancer types, and geographic regions. The analysis included 368 phase IV oncology studies. An amount of 50% of these studies examined both safety and efficacy, while 43.5% only reported efficacy outcome measures, and 6.5% only described safety outcome measures. Only 16.9% of studies were powered to detect adverse events with a frequency of 1 in 100. Targeted therapies accounted for the majority of included studies (53.5%), with breast (32.91%) and hematological cancers (25.82%) being the most frequently investigated malignancies. Most phase IV oncology studies lacked sufficient power to detect rare adverse events due to their small sample sizes and instead focused on effectiveness. To ensure that there is no gap in drug safety data collection and detection of rare adverse events due to limited phase IV clinical trials, there is a significant need for additional education and participation by both health care providers and patients in spontaneous reporting processes.
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