Perspective of Adults With Neurofibromatosis 1 and Cutaneous Neurofibromas: Implications for Clinical Trials

Ashley Cannon, Dominique C. Pichard, Pamela L. Wolters, Sarah Adsit, Gregg Erickson, Andrés J. Lessing, Peng Li, Whitney Narmore, Claas Röhl, Tena Rosser, Brigitte C. Widemann, Jaishri O. Blakeley, Scott R. Plotkin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective: To assess the perspectives of adults with neurofibromatosis 1 (NF1) regarding cutaneous neurofibroma (cNF) morbidity, treatment options, and acceptable risk-benefit ratio to facilitate the design of patient-centered clinical trials. Methods: An online survey developed by multidisciplinary experts and patient representatives of the Response Evaluation in Neurofibromatosis and Schwannomatosis (REiNS) cNF Working Group was distributed to adults with NF1 (n = 3,734) in the largest international database of individuals with any form of NF. Eligibility criteria included self-reported NF1 diagnosis, age ≥18 years, ≥1 cNF, and ability to read English. Results: A total of 548 adults with NF1 responded to the survey. Respondents ranked appearance, number, and then location as the most bothersome features of raised cNF. Seventy-five percent of respondents considered a partial decrease of 33%-66% in the number or size of cNF as a meaningful response to experimental treatments. Most respondents (48%-58%) were willing to try available cNF treatments but were not aware of options outside of surgical removal. Regarding experimental agents, respondents favored topical, then oral medications. Most individuals (>65%) reported being "very much"or "extremely willing"to try experimental treatments, especially those with the highest cNF burden. Many respondents were not willing to tolerate side effects like nausea/vomiting (51%) and rash (46%). The greatest barriers to participation in cNF clinical trials were cost of participation and need to take time off work. Conclusions: Most adults with NF1 are willing to consider experimental therapies for treatment of cNF. These data will guide the design of patient-centered clinical trials for adults with cNF.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)S15-S24
Issue number7
StatePublished - Aug 17 2021

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology


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