A novel website called Cancertrialsearch.com intelligently matches patients with gastrointestinal cancers to clinical trials based on seven (7) criteria supporting the patient (or loved ones) in the quest to find help in the form of a clinical trial. For at least some forms of cancer, clinical research becomes an actual first line treatment option and there are just so many complex study protocols now its increasingly difficult for doctors or patients to find the right study. According to Dr. Pashtoon Kasi with University of Iowa first and foremost, “Patients have limited access to an understanding of clinical trials and the online search tools that we have available—not only for patients but even for providers—can be very hard to navigate.” Now the Cancertrialsearch.com site supports searchers by helping to match the actual patient with gastrointestinal (GI) cancers to clinical trials using seven criteria such as sponsor, trial, phase, cancer stage, etc.
What is the goal of Cancertrialsearch?
The sponsors of this website sought to improve a patient (and a doctors) understanding and access to clinical trials, which can possibly lead to “more representative trial enrollment.” A big problem is the lack of diversity in cancer studies, which are still represented overwhelmingly by select demographics. The novel artificial intelligence (AI) -based search tool was presented recently at the 2020 American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) Gastrointestinal Cancer Symposium. Titled “Deploying an AI-based online search tool to increase patients’ access to and understanding of solid tumor GI clinical trials” the ongoing study, part of a collaboration again between a Swiss venture called Ancora.ai and the University of Iowa based investigator, and peers, is available here.
The Startup: Ancora.ai
Then developers of the website reported Brielle Benyon with CancerNetwork inked a partnership with Dr. Kasi at University of Iowa to showcase the benefits of the AI-based website. Now the actual developer of the website is a startup led by Danielle Ralic, the business intelligence expert started Zurich-based Ancora.ai, an AI-powered platform to support clinical trials with what they describe as “powerful and patient-friendly technology.”
Call to Action: Follow the link to Ms. Benyon’s article to read more about the survey of Cancertrialsearch.com