Only 20% of patients consider the possibility of participating in a treatment clinical trial because they were unaware that this was an option.
The Key Challenges
Recruiting patients is one of the most important aspects of running a successful clinical trial, and the most difficult. Biotech and pharmaceutical companies employ large teams, make considerable investments in advertising, and partner with Contract Research Organizations (CROs) to focus on patient recruitment, yet 60% of all clinical trials are delayed or terminated due to lack of enrollment.
In cancer-related clinical trials, recruiting and enrolling patients is even more difficult. 25% of cancer clinical trials fail to enroll enough patients and 18% of cancer trials shut down with less than half of the patients needed to meet requirements. According to The National Library of Medicine, out of the 15-25% of eligible patients, only 2-8% participate in clinical trials.
The challenges to meet are:
- Lack of Awareness – One of the biggest obstacles to patient recruitment is simply lack of awareness about available clinical trials by the patient and provider. Even specialists, focused on specific cancer types, are not always well informed about the numerous trials from pharmaceutical and biotech sponsors. It is not uncommon that clinical trial options are not discussed with patients at the right time during their treatment journey, if at all.
- Patient Identification – Identifying the right patients to recruit in oncology clinical trials is no simple task, as there are typically extremely specific inclusion criteria that patients are required to meet to be eligible. With the advancement of precision medicine and more targeted therapies in cancer treatment, quite often selection criteria include specific gene mutations be found through biomarker testing, plus that a patient be in specific stage of disease progression and be healthy enough to participate in the trial.
For clinical trial sponsors, overcoming these two hurdles is vital to the success of their research and their business. Simply selecting sites that have ample patients with the defined condition of the trial does not guarantee awareness, identification of eligible patients, or successful enrollment.
While most cancer centers have Electronic Medical Records (EMRs)with the patient information needed to identify potential clinical trial matches, IT teams rarely have the bandwidth to mine the patient data. Even with the widespread adoption of information technology in healthcare, sponsors, CROs, and research sites constantly struggle to solve these problems.
The OncoLens Solution
Until OncoLens, there has not been a simple answer to the complex issue of increasing awareness of clinical trials and identifying patients to participate in them.
OncoLens addresses both challenges through its Clinical Trial Matching and Patient ID solutions. By applying and customizing proprietary Artificial Intelligence (AI) to the inclusion/exclusion criteria of the trial, OncoLens analyzes the EMR’s structured and unstructured data. Real-time results are immediately available to the cancer center’s oncology research team, freeing up time for them to engage providers and patients.
Through the OncoLens platform, multidisciplinary care teams are proactively notified when their patients match the criteria of active clinical trials. There is no need for healthcare providers to be aware of all the available cancer trials at the site – OncoLens makes them aware at the point of treatment planning in forums such as tumor boards. The care team and specialists are then prompted to review the trials and decide if their specific patient should be informed of clinical trial options while planning their treatment pathway.
- Awareness of clinical trials is automated for the cancer care team and matched to the patients they are treating.
- For biotech and pharmaceutical sponsors of clinical trials, OncoLens employs that same technology over multiple sites to provide a real-time view into where eligible patients can be found and recruited for their trials. This understanding extremely is useful in the study design phase as well as during active trials where enrollments are lagging.
With a network of over 200 cancer centers relying on the OncoLens platform for their tumor board conferences and oncology workflow, OncoLens helps biotech and pharmaceutical companies educate and create awareness among healthcare providers to identify eligible clinical trial patients.