Reimagining patient-centric cancer clinical trials: a multi-stakeholder international coalition

Nature Medicine, April 19 2022

Author: Bob T. Li, Bobby Daly, et al

The article discusses the establishment of the Bloomberg New Economy International Cancer Coalition, which aims to improve patient access to cancer clinical trials and harmonize regulations globally in the post-pandemic era. The COVID-19 pandemic disrupted oncology clinical trials, leading to regulatory flexibilities adopted by various countries like the US, China, Russia, and the EU to enable patients to continue accessing experimental therapies. As a response to these changes, the Coalition was formed in 2021 to focus on patient-centric care in clinical trials, leveraging technologies and international collaboration.

One key focus of the Coalition is on patient identification and enrollment by addressing barriers to trial participation, especially in underserved communities. The strategy involves leveraging information technology to match patients with suitable trials based on their molecular profiles, increasing awareness of biomarker testing, and promoting the global adoption of liquid biopsy technologies. The article highlights the importance of reducing barriers to trial enrollment and increasing diversity among participants to improve the generalizability of trial data.

The article also discusses enhancing treatment and monitoring in clinical trials through remote and hybrid models. By leveraging telemedicine, wireless sensors, and remote data collection, trials can be made more accessible to patients, especially those living far from medical centers. The shift towards more patient-centric trials involves engaging patients as active partners, ensuring their perspectives are integrated into trial designs, and reducing the burden of trial participation. Additionally, the article emphasizes the need for regulatory harmonization globally to accelerate the development of novel cancer treatments and prevention strategies. Through initiatives like Project Orbis and international collaborations, regulatory barriers can be lowered to facilitate the timely approval of innovative therapies. The Coalition’s efforts aim to reshape the landscape of cancer clinical trials, promoting international collaboration and patient-centric approaches to accelerate progress in cancer research.

Read the full article in Nature Magazine