Jan13

Overcoming Institutional Barriers to Cancer Trial Enrollment

Did you know that out of  all patients with a cancer diagnosis, only 8% will ever be enrolled in a clinical trial?  Whether there are no trials available close to the patient’s location, the patient is not eligible, or they were never asked to participate, the barriers to cancer patient enrollment are one of the key challenges for overall clinical trial success. Of those that do enroll, representation and participation across demographics is lacking; yet another risk to research outcomes. Our latest webinar, “Barriers to Patient Enrollment in Therapeutic Clinical Trials for Cancer,” covers the causes (institutional, patient, trial design) and ways to mitigate the various barriers that exist. Overcoming institutional or provider barriers is perhaps the first place CTO’s should turn when trying to increase cancer patient enrollment as many of them are controlled internally and can be addressed through process or technology enhancements.

The first way to address institutional barriers to patient enrollment is ensuring your staff is diverse and trained. Having clinical staff that mirrors your patient populations not only helps patients feel more comfortable during the trial, but engages different points of view that can help identify and address potential issues or opportunities within a cancer trial specifically. Managing research staff training and credentialing helps ensure that all potential patient interactions reflect the most up-to-date information about the cancer trial milieu, specific protocols, or other key areas during which prospects might become “lost” to the process. Training can easily be automated using the right Clinical Trial Management System (CTMS) software solution. Management can assign parameters for each type of training or credentialing required and align all staff based on the renewal date or other relevant triggers. The system can then be programmed to automatically remind staff and management to upcoming deadlines, training opportunities, or revised credential guidelines. 

Managing your clinical research organization’s cancer trial portfolio and protocols are other areas in which you can mitigate barriers for potential trial patients. Managing a diverse trial portfolio is often tricky when there are multiple sites partnering on a cancer study. And protocol non-compliance, one of the top deficiencies found in FDA audits, opens the door for more prospect or patient attrition. To alleviate this problem, set up real-time alerts within each of your trials to track document expiration, version changes, drug disbursement, and procedure updates. This attention to detail is possible through CTMS software, and allows staff to better manage every process that directly affects cancer patients. 

A final way to overcome institutional barriers to cancer patient enrollment is by investing in the right technology to track and manage every aspect of your office’s trials. Leveraging the power of eClinical applications empowers you as a provider to increase accuracy of information, efficiency of data gathering and sharing, and ease of regulatory management with integrated tools that support staff, patients, and operations. Site managers can deploy either one eClinical component or maximize its benefits by using an entire suite. eClinical components — including CTMS, eSource, eConsent, and eRegulatory — each perform specific functions and are a powerful tool to address cancer patient enrollment within a CRO. 

Overcoming institutional barriers is a strong place to focus your work to combat cancer trial enrollment barriers and increase the number of patients in your system. Check out the “Barriers to Patient Enrollment in Therapeutic Clinical Trials for Cancer” webinar for more information on improving site results and see our CTMS in action.

Bio-Optronics