The International Cancer Advocacy Network (ICAN), a Phoenix, Ariz.-based cancer patient advocacy and charitable organization, is collaborating with Finland-based bioinformatics company MediSapiens to launch Remission Coach this year. Remission Coach is a web-based solution, which provides oncology patients with a personalized platform for actively determining the most appropriate clinical trial for that patient's disease and treatment history.
Robert H. Tamis, M.D., ICAN's chairman of health information technology initiatives, said, "Remission Coach offers a secure, sophisticated, yet easy-to-use electronic interface for patients and their caregivers to safely enter and store clinical information, such as pathology and imaging reports, treatment history and molecular profiling data. The clinical trials industry and patients will be able to use Remission Coach for immediate access to critical information that will vastly improve and accelerate the recruitment of trial candidates while minimizing the notoriously crippling costs of patient accrual."
Only a very small percentage of late-stage cancer patients are informed by their oncology teams about clinical trials. This is not for lack of effort or caring, but typically is the result of time pressures that do not allow for investigation or follow-up among oncologist, clinical trial
sponsors and patient.
One of the many advances featured in Remission Coach is its predictive ability to match patients to ongoing clinical trials based on clinical histories and molecular profiling results. Patients can quickly seek clinical trials for which they are eligible, providing them with potential life-extending opportunities otherwise unknown to them.
Placing a high priority on patient security and privacy, Remission Coach is a HIPAA-compliant platform with a built-in system that anonymizes and de-identifies patient data. For biopharmaceutical, government and academic sponsors and principal investigators, Remission Coach features a dedicated researcher interface powered with intelligent filtering tools. This includes controlled search engine access to rapidly identify patient cases, on the basis of de-identified data, that are eligible for clinical trials.
When a match is found, the company, investigator, CRO or clinical trials recruiting team can send a contact request to the anonymous patient, who has the option of whether or not to respond to such a request.
Remission Coach provides "urgency to patients," said Scott M. Kahn, Ph.D., chairman of ICAN's Biomarkers Council, "while simultaneously enabling drug developers to expedite clinical trial enrollments and patient retention, thus significantly lowering the costs of patient accrual. Important short and long-term benefits of Remission Coach include accelerating clinical trial accrual and retention, expediting regulatory approval of novel patient therapies, and therefore making drugs available to cancer patients more quickly and more effectively."
Remission Coach provides patients and caregivers additional benefits since it can be used as a stand-alone option that brings personalized medicine and disease management to their fingertips. The easily navigable Remission Coach interface helps to distinguish between multiple, and often confusing, names for diseases, treatments, genes and other parameters. Patients can access their data securely and remotely, thereby providing them with a greater comfort level in talking with their medical teams and making decisions about their treatment.