Putting patient needs first improves engagement – from recruitment to their last medical image.

Putting patient needs first improves patient engagement in a clinical trial, and delivers a better experience for everyone involved – from recruitment to their last medical image.

The statistics are staggering. In March of this year The Journal of Oncology Practice published ‘’The State of Cancer Care in America, 2017: A Report by the American Society of Clinical Oncology’’. In this report they cited that more than 15.5 million cancer survivors lived in the United States in 2016, and 1.7 million new diagnoses were made. Regardless of where a patient living with cancer resides, the impact of the disease is felt by many. From friends and family who are part of the patient’s care circle coping with the emotional and financial toll, to the researchers and the medical community who strive to provide the best possible care, cancer is agnostic; its impact limitless.

As evidenced by the 2016 data published by the US FDA, the advancement of new products to treat patients with cancer continues to rise. In 2016 alone, five new drugs and biologic therapies were added to its list of > 200 anticancer agents. However, more needs to be done. Under the prior administration the Cancer Moonshot Initiative worked to assemble and mobilize patients and stakeholders from government, academia, clinical practice, and industry with an aim to make great strides in a short period of time. By putting the patient first the Moonshot launched a number of cutting-edge programs and partnerships in 2016.

One initiative aimed at broadening clinical trial eligibility has the opportunity to support the acceleration of clinical trials. This is a key initiative considering the fact that 80% of clinical trials are delayed, mainly due to recruitment delays1 and less than 3% of cancer patients participate in clinical trials 2. There is a huge opportunity to bring better cancer treatments to patients quicker by introducing the right cancer patient to the right clinical trial as an option for their treatment.  Ensuring that eligibility criteria focuses on patient safety and the promotion of criteria that are science based and clinically relevant may have a significant impact on our trial recruitment rates.

Images don’t lie.  The answers to eligibility are there.  However, the selection process is vulnerable to bias and subjective interpretations – and in the case of cancer – often variable interpretations of the image.  We can improve eligibility (the right patient) by standardizing and automating image reviews.  This reduces human error in the selection process, reduces omission of potentially good candidates for the trial, and provides better exclusion for patients who may not truly the right fit, removing them early from the process. Use of images and good imaging procedures puts the patient first.

 Post Author:

Jeanne Hecht, Chief Operating Officer, Median Technologies


1 Tufts Center for Drug Development, CSCO 2013

2 How Can We Encourage Participation in Clinical Trials? Forbes. January 6, 2015.