Clinical trials are the gold-standard tool for driving evidence-based medical research today. With the benefits they can present to patients, participation in trials should be included as a viable healthcare option, particularly in oncology, where treatments are limited. Clinical trials’ potential for reducing treatment cost burdens for patients and advancing the field of oncology makes cancer trials a valuable pursuit in clinical research. In this next installment of the Oncology Trial Management series, read on to learn how sponsors can best manage prostate cancer clinical trials.
1 | Understanding Prostate Cancer
Prostate cancer affects the male prostate gland and can be exacerbated by high circulating levels of testosterone. It’s the second-most common type of cancer affecting men, with over 150,000 new individuals diagnosed every year in the United States. The average age of diagnosis is 66, with men below the age of 40 rarely developing this disease. The prognosis for prostate cancer is largely favorable, with localized disease patients having a 10-year relative survival rate of 99% and a low chance of recurrence.
2 | Building the Right Prostate Cancer Trial Plan
Initiation and planning are critical stages when considering a prostate cancer clinical trial. During these stages, sponsors must ensure their research team includes the right blend of previous understanding of oncology or prostate cancer, specifically. Many study protocols are written from a research perspective, but they often fail to account for common participant pain points. In the case of cancer, many studies may have stringent study requirements expecting patients to spend more time and money traveling for health visits than they would with the standard of care. Under experienced leadership, the clinical trial project management team can develop a straightforward study plan, a realistic timeline, and a cost-effective budget. Eligibility criteria must also be skillfully designed since it is considered a common recruitment barrier. Additionally, some interventional studies may not be appropriate for certain types of prostate cancer. A sponsor’s research team should carefully define who their target patient population will be before they can accurately decide which clinical trial sites will be best suited to support the study.
3 | Adapting Recruitment Strategies for Prostate Cancer Patients
Prostate cancer is dependent on multiple risk factors, but ultimately, it is a disease that develops in men of all races and ethnicities. When sponsors recruit for these clinical trials, enrolling a diverse group of participants will allow their study outcomes to be more representative of the general disease population. Early research has demonstrated that positive family history for prostate cancer remains a notable risk factor even after age at diagnosis and patient race are accounted for. This kind of epidemiological data can be harnessed to optimize a trial’s recruitment strategies. It supports the possibility of mining patient health records from cancer registries or the treating physicians to identify eligible subjects more efficiently. Similar research into recruitment for prostate cancer clinical trials also showed that sponsors can have success by combining social media marketing with building local physician relationships.
Importance of High-Quality Clinical Trials for Prostate Cancer
As one of the leading causes of death amongst all American men, high-quality prostate cancer clinical trials are a vital part of gaining a better understanding of the disease, as well as developing novel therapies. Ensuring successful outcomes when running these trials begins right when sponsors start assembling their team of researchers and selecting a trusted contract research organization (CRO). By leveraging an experienced Oncology CRO, you’ll get the right information to create a patient-centric design and robust recruitment plan, your prostate cancer clinical trial will be easier to manage as more patients are enrolled over time.
Choose Vial, the CRO for biotech. Vial’s Oncology CRO is changing today’s clinical research experience with its advanced network of specialized medical experts, experienced project managers, and in-demand clinical research sites. Contact our team here or visit https://vial.com/cro/oncology/ to learn how our CRO’s products are delivering faster and more efficient oncology clinical trials for sponsors at a fixed-fee rate.