Today, March 17, the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) is hosting a meeting with key research stakeholders to discuss possible solutions and calls-to-action to optimize cancer clinical trials and facilitate routine patient access to trials closer to where they live.
This solution-driven meeting will bring together a range of research stakeholders for a unique opportunity to listen to and learn from each other, and collectively work toward consensus-driven solutions and calls-to-action to ensure that clinical trials become and are kept flexible and accessible to patients and their healthcare providers – particularly in underserved areas. Ultimately, the goal is work toward making “clinical trials available everywhere, anytime, to everyone.”
Some of the stakeholder groups represented include:
- Patients and Patient Advocacy Groups
- Community-Based Clinical Practices and Research Sites
- Academic-Based Research Centers
- Biopharmaceutical Companies
- Contract Research Organizations
- Technology Vendors
- Government Agencies
This event is part of the work of ASCO’s Clinical Trials Access and Participation Task Force, which was tasked with advancing ASCO’s efforts to make clinical trials more accessible, in particular, advancing the recommendations from ASCO’s “Road to Recovery Report: Learning From the COVID-19 Experience to Improve Clinical Research and Cancer Care,” published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology. The report identified five overarching research goals. The Task Force is focused on advancing two of those goals: to ensure that clinical trials are accessible, affordable, and equitable to people with cancer; and to simplify, streamline, and standardize protocol requirements and trial operations to minimize administrative and regulatory burdens on trial sites.
The meeting will be co-chaired by ASCO’s Chief Medical Officer and Senior Vice President Julie Gralow, MD and the Task Force Chair Greg Nowakowski, MD. Patients and patient advocates will share stories that demonstrate the barriers--as well as successes--they’ve experienced with accessing and participating in clinical trials. Clinicians will share their experiences, including logistical and administrative burdens and challenges identifying suitable trials for patients. Successes will also be shared, including partnerships and operational models for decentralizing clinical trials. Representatives from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the National Cancer Institute will share their visions and contribute to the discussions about decentralizing clinical trials.
After hearing these crucial insights, participants will take part in breakout sessions to identify solutions and calls-to-action to make trials more flexible for and accessible to patients and their healthcare providers.
The findings from the meeting will help inform the Task Force’s work and recommendations, and guide ASCO’s efforts to make clinical trials more accessible, affordable, and equitable.