How to Manage a Kidney Cancer Clinical Trial

Clinical trials are a gold-standard tool for driving evidence-based medical research today. With the benefits they can present to patients, trials should be considered a viable healthcare option, particularly in oncology. Cancer trials can potentially reduce treatment cost burdens for patients and advance our grasp of how cancer develops. In this next installment of Vial CRO’s Oncology Trial Management series, we discuss how sponsors can increase their chances of success when running a kidney cancer clinical trial.

1 | Understanding Kidney Cancer

Our kidneys function to clear the blood of extra waste, water, and electrolytes, as well as regulate blood pressure, but when renal cells begin to multiply unchecked, metastatic kidney cancer can be the devastating outcome. The most common form presents as renal cell carcinoma, accounting for nearly 90% of all kidney cancer diagnoses; however, other types include urothelial carcinoma, Wilms tumor, and renal sarcoma. Kidney cancer, as a whole, is the sixth most common type of cancer affecting men in the United States. Depending on whether the disease is localized, regional, or distant, the 5-year survival rates are 93%, 71%, and 14%, respectively.

2 | Accommodating Patient Perspectives

In April 2022, the International Kidney Cancer Coalition (IKCC) released a report devoted to understanding the barriers faced by kidney cancer clinical trial patients. Their project found that in-person travel requirements caused patients significant financial and emotional burdens. To improve the impact of these burdens on drop-out rates, sponsors can benefit by offering reimbursements or accommodations where possible, as well as being mindful of the patient’s perspective when determining the frequency and timing of each trial visit. Especially after three years of the COVID-19 pandemic, studies have a greater capacity than ever before to consider local or remote study testing or data collection methods. Patients are the heart of every clinical trial, so the typical challenges with participant recruitment and retention can become significantly easier to manage if sponsors are able to adopt a patient-centered study design from the start.

3 | Normalizing the Clinical Trial Option

In January 2022, the IKCC also released a global survey summarizing several unmet needs of renal cell carcinoma patients from across 43 countries. The key results found notable gaps in patient knowledge and awareness regarding their diagnosis and clinical trials. For example, although 90% of patients responded they would be interested in joining a study, only 20% were made aware of this treatment possibility by their physician. To normalize the option of clinical trial participation in cancer care, steps can be taken by the sponsor to increase study awareness, particularly in less densely-populated areas. Strategies could include leveraging patient networks to spread information, engaging with specialized local clinicians, and creating a clinical trial guide for kidney cancer patients. Additionally, having clear, easily digestible participant materials can help investigators provide sponsors with higher-quality trial data by recruiting well-informed, compliant subjects.

4 | Relying on Oncology Trial Experts

Globally, nearly 30% of patients from the IKCC survey reported having no involvement in their treatment journey. However, patient-centric strategies can all positively impact the attitude of potential participants toward a new kidney cancer clinical trial. It’s certainly no small ask from sponsors, but luckily they can rely on the specialized expertise of oncology-focused contract research organizations (CROs). This landscape includes IQVIA, PPD, and other different CROs. However, Vial CRO’s oncology team is breaking through with a tech-enabled approach to affordable, more effective cancer studies. Their capabilities include faster enrollment with a modern patient recruitment platform, access to quality sites through their Preferred Site Network, and robust automated data capture with their digital suite of eSource, ePRO, and EDC platforms. These resources can further reduce redundancy in data entry, increase patient comfort, and provide opportunities for community engagement to recruit the best-suited patients for your clinical trial.

The Oncology CRO for Biotech

Vial is a global contract research organization serving the drug development industry with next-generation CRO services across six therapeutic areas, including oncology. Vial’s vision is to empower scientists to cure all human disease. We deliver on this vision by producing faster, more efficient trials through our end-to-end technology platform, experienced ClinOps teams, and streamlined workflows. Visit to learn how our products are paving the way toward an innovative future for clinical trial research. Connect with a team member today!

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