4 Major Trends in Oncology Clinical Trials

Advances in cancer treatments are pushing the boundaries of what is achievable for patients, leveraging technology in clinical trials to bring breakthroughs closer to fruition.

In our latest whitepaper we explore four key trends in oncology, underscoring the growing significance of biospecimens in cancer treatment clinical trials. Oximio’s team of experts provide valuable insights based on their own experience of maintaining biospecimens at the strict temperatures required for such trials.

Below is a summary of the whitepaper. The full whitepaper “4 Major Trends in Oncology Clinical Trials” can be downloaded as a pdf.

Generative AI

Generative artificial intelligence (GenAI) is increasingly enhancing clinical trial processes, especially in oncology, by rapidly identifying patterns and analysing large datasets for effective cancer diagnostics. A case study from Massive Bio highlights the transformative use of a ChatGPT-powered chatbot platform, featuring personas such as AskFiona AI and DrArturo AI. These personas serve as informational resources for cancer patients exploring clinical trials and as virtual oncology tools for healthcare professionals. Despite concerns about bias, privacy, and reliability, a GlobalData survey indicates a willingness among 56% of cancer patients to embrace AI in medical practices.

Global Data survey of cancer patients on how comfortable they are with AI being used by medical practices they attend:

Oncology Trends: Illustration of percentage of people who would be happy using AI as part of their clinical trial.

Source: Global Data

Immuno-oncology and Cell Therapy

Immuno-oncology (IO) involves using a patient’s immune system to combat cancer. As of April 2023, there were over 4,400 industry-sponsored clinical trials and 703 drugs in development. IO agents, such as immune checkpoint inhibitors (ICIs), have transformed cancer treatment, achieving long-term remission. However, these therapies are expensive, with IO therapies exceeding $100,000 in the US, and cell therapies over $400,000. There are also reimbursement challenges. The cell therapy market is projected to reach over $52 billion by 2029, with chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T-cell therapy showing promise, especially for certain blood cancers, as it is the only genetically modified cell therapy with regulatory approval.

Are cell therapies ready for use in first-line?

Chart showing respondents answers to question

Source: Global Data

Gene Therapy

Gene therapy provides hope for patients with limited treatment options, with 39 therapies currently marketed and over 4,450 drugs undergoing preclinical and clinical trials globally. Predicted to generate nearly $54 billion in sales by 2029, gene therapy is expected to have a significant impact. In cancer treatment, it is likely to modify gene regulation and induce an immune response against tumorigenic cells. Over 80 gene therapies are in clinical trials for various cancers, primarily targeting solid tumours. While promising, the high cost of viral vector gene therapies, may limit patient access, despite their potential as one-time curative treatments.

Gene therapy pipeline candidates in the 8MM

Gene therapy pipeline candidates in the 8MM

Source: Global Data

Decentralised Clinical Trials

The Covid-19 pandemic accelerated the adoption of decentralised clinical trials (DCTs), utilising technologies to deliver treatments to patients’ homes and monitor progress remotely. Wearable devices, such as heart-rate monitors, facilitate the collection of crucial data for Clinical Research Organizations (CROs). GlobalData recorded a significant increase in DCTs from 250 in 2012 to over 1,420 in 2022, a growth of more than 470%. In oncology, DCTs provide opportunities to recruit diverse patient pools, addressing underrepresentation of different ethnic backgrounds in clinical trial data. Successful DCTs in oncology, including gastric cancer and metastatic renal cell carcinoma, require reliable pharma logistics partners, crucial for transporting fragile biological samples at the optimal temperature.

Transporting Biospecimens

Transporting biospecimens requires trusted partners familiar with customs regulations, ensuring compliance and smoother processes. According to Mark Woolf, Oximio’s Chief Business Development Officer, using carriers experienced in customs procedures is crucial. Oximio employs CryoSure’s dry-ice shipping solution for transporting samples in Africa, maintaining temperatures below -70°C for up to 21 days. This solution reduces costs and complexity associated with replenishing dry ice during transit, offering environmental benefits. The technology helps save time by maintaining low temperatures, ensuring biospecimens remain in optimal storage conditions despite delays at borders or during transportation.

Case Study

Delivering vital biospecimens from Ukraine to three separate sites in record time

Oximio recently, successfully met the challenge of securely delivering three bio samples from Ukraine to different locations in the UK, Switzerland, and Belgium within a 72-hour timeframe, maintaining a required temperature range of 15°C to 25°C. The team’s detailed planning, expertise in international logistics, and adherence to temperature-sensitive protocols ensured a seamless process, with all bio samples exceeding expectations by reaching their destinations, some even within 48 hours. This accomplishment emphasised the critical role of precision, efficiency, and expertise in navigating complex international logistics for the secure and swift movement of sensitive materials in compliance with regulatory protocols.

Despite challenges posed by the war in Ukraine limiting air transportation, Oximio demonstrated resilience by leveraging ground logistics to export bio samples from Ukraine to Europe. Zayheda Khan, Chief Commercial Officer at Oximio, emphasised their leadership in bio sample export solutions, particularly during challenging times, showcasing the company’s ability to create innovative solutions in response to obstacles.

Oximio’s Clinical Trial Logistics Solutions

Oximio is a prominent provider of logistics and transportation solutions, serving the global clinical trials industry. With a comprehensive global network spanning six continents, the company delivers seamless logistics services for clinical trials on an international scale, ensuring the secure and optimal transport of biospecimens. Oximio’s team of experts offer personalised support to clients, collaborating closely to provide tailored solutions that align with the specific needs of each clinical trial and its biospecimen requirements.

To find out how we can support you with your clinical trial logistics, please contact us.

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Download our Application Note: 4 Major Trends in Oncology Clinical Trials