Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, the burden of cancer, physically, emotionally, and financially, on patients, families, and health systems was significant. During the pandemic, the concern for those with cancer is further elevated, especially as we face challenges never experienced before across the globe. Patients living with cancer are among the most vulnerable during the pandemic, but sponsors and researchers understand oncology drug development must continue. However, with limited site access and patient safety concerns, the traditional oncology trial model needs tangible adjustments in real time to ensure safe and effective clinical research continues. The pandemic has become a call for innovation from the industry to maintain trial continuity now and in the future. Sponsors and researchers alike are quickly embracing remote and virtual trial approaches to ensure patients with cancer are safe and much needed therapies are accessible via trials.
This paper will discuss how COVID-19 is driving change in the oncology trial landscape and how these insights may shape the future of post-pandemic clinical development. Given the unique concerns of cancer patients, the scope of the discussion will focus on outlining innovative and flexible tech-enabled approaches and operational adjustments that can improve the patient experience.