Published Dec 6, 2021

Decentralizing Precision Oncology Trials: Opportunities and Challenges for Implementing a Patient-Centric Model

A cancer patient’s best chance to receive biomarker-informed personalized treatment is often within a clinical trial. Traditionally, interventional trials require patients to travel to a designated trial site to receive treatment and for data collection. However, the costs, travel, and time required for this approach create barriers to participation for many of the patients who could benefit from these trials.

According to an estimate from the American Cancer Society, only about 8% of cancer patients partake in clinical trials, and only about 27% have the option of joining atrial in their own community. Studies have also shown that a large number of late-stage oncology drug trials fail to enroll the necessary number of patients and close because they don’t meet the target recruitment goal after three years or more.

But decentralized clinical trials — those that employ telemedicine, mobile apps, wearable monitoring devices, and local labs and imaging centers — may facilitate greater patient participation in research.

This GenomeWeb report is a summary of a Virtual Roundtable discussion, sponsored by PGDx, titled, Decentralizing Precision Oncology Trials: Opportunities and Challenges for Implementing a Patient-Centric Model.” In this discussion, panelists discussed how pharmaceutical companies and researchers are rolling out decentralized strategies, and how those strategies are improving enrollment and better serving underserved patients.

The discussion was led by Turna Ray, managing editor of Precision Oncology News. The panel included Jonathan Cotliar, chief medical officer at Science 37; Kristen Deak, associate director of clinical study genetics and molecular diagnostics at Duke University; Sameek Roychowdhury, medical oncologist and member of the Translational Therapeutics Program at Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center; and Lee Schwartzberg, chief medical officer at One Oncology. Their discussion was followed by a Q&A session with the audience.

For more details from this discussion, download the summary or listen to the recording linked below.