Background: While several small groups in Japan have attempted to conduct prospective studies in the field of supportive and palliative care, development of exploratory research into multicentre confirmatory studies has been difficult. The main reason for this is the difference in clinical research methodology in supportive and palliative care compared with medical oncology in terms of the style of multidisciplinary approaches, study design and endpoints. Here, we establish a new research policy for cancer supportive and palliative care in Japan. Methods: The first draft was developed by a policy working group within the Japanese Supportive, Palliative and Psychosocial Care Study Group. A provisional draft was subsequently developed after review by nine Japanese scientific societies (Japanese Association of Supportive Care in Cancer, Japanese Society of Medical Oncology, Japanese Society of Clinical Oncology, Japanese Society of Palliative Medicine, Japanese Society of Cancer Nursing, Japanese Society of Pharmaceutical Oncology (JASPO), Japan Cancer Association (JCA), Japanese Society of Therapeutic Radiation Oncology and Japanese Cancer Association) and receipt of public comments. The final research policy in the area of supportive and palliative care in Japan (Ver1.0) was completed in December 2018 and underwent its first revision (Ver1.1) in February, 2020. Results: The policy includes the following components of clinical research: (i) objective of the research policy in the areas of supportive and palliative care; (ii) definitions of supportive care and palliative care; (iii) characteristics of supportive and palliative care research; (iv) target population for research; (v) research design; (vi) endpoints and assessment measures; (vii) handling of the deaths of subjects and (viii) operational structure and quality management. Conclusions: We hope that studies conducted according to this policy will play important roles in the future development of the supportive and palliative field.
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