In this article published in Cancer Therapy Advisor this week, changes to how clinical trials are being conducted due to the health risks posed by COVID-19 to cancer patients are discussed. Some of these changes include the use of telemedicine visits, electronic signatures for signing patient consent forms, posting oral medicines to patients’ homes, and changes to clinical trial protocols for the collection of some types of data.
These changes may help to keep clinical trials running and to allow patients from different parts of the country to take part to ensure a diverse patient population. However, they may also limit the amount of key information about the patient experience. Also, the pandemic may prevent or dissuade some groups of patients from enrolling in new clinical trials altogether. This will negatively impact on the population of patients in clinical trials and the ability to recruit patients for trials.
This article discusses the pros and cons of these changes in more detail, including the limitations of collecting tissue for the identification of cancer biomarkers.