“The way that you’ve built your whole value chain is one of the more complete solutions that I’ve seen.” – Brian McCloskey
Selin Kurnaz, PhD, Co-founder and CEO, and Czerny Cohen, Vice President of Clinical Operations, Massive Bio, shared their experience in helping cancer patients in “Finding the Best Clinical Trial“. The “best clinical trial” is the one that is the best fit, based on each patient’s unique profile. Their mission is to increase access for patients to explore all of their treatment options, not just standard of care therapy, but also clinical trial options. That means that Massive Bio must help each patient assemble all of that patient’s relevant health data, and also provide clinical coordination, helping patients fill in any gaps in their health information, such as helping them get a DNA sequencing of their tumor tissue if they don’t already have it, and overcoming financial and logistical issues to get access to the clinical trial (the “last mile”). Massive Bio’s services are especially valuable to help patients who do not have easy access to academic research cancer centers, and to reduce the burden of pursuing additional treatment options when the patient just got the overwhelming stress of an intial cancer diagnosis or a relapse diagnosis.
Typical challenges patients face in getting access to clinical trials are overcome by Massive Bio’s services:
1. Trial awareness: Patients may be steered to the standard of care, overlooking other valuable options, such as new treatments in clinical trials. Massive Bio provides education to patients on what additional options clinical trials make possible.
2. Data collection: The patient’s health records, which are critical to treatment selection, and often spread out among different healthcare providers. Massive Bio gets a fews bits of personal contact information and authorization from the patient, then pulls the relevant detailed data from the patient’s medical records.
3. Tests: Tests, especially genomic sequencing, are often required to meet clinical trial enrollment, and many patients haven’t had these tests. Massive Bio helps patients get the basic tests needed for clinical trial access.
4. Trial matching: There are many clinical trial options, making selection a complex decision. Massive Bio finds the best fit for the patient using their software, taking into account inclusion and exclusion criteria for the clinical trials and the number of visits the patient will need to make. Massive Bio goes beyond the clinical trial descriptions on clinicaltrials.gov to review detailed descriptions of the clinical trials, some of which are provided by their pharmaceutical partners.
5. Travel distance: The willingness and ability of a patient to travel to a clinical trial site can vary greatly. Massive Bio establishes a travel radius up front and enters it into the matching process.
6. Trial enrollment: After selecting a clinical trial, patients need to communicate with five contacts to enroll. Massive Bio handles these communications on behalf of the patient. Sometimes this extends to being an advocate for the patient to accelerate the enrollment process.
7. Travel and accommodation: The patient may have trouble getting to the site and spending time there, including paying. Massive Bio works with the patient to find solutions to logistics problems.
Advanced prostate cancer patient Brian McCloskey went through Massive Bio’s process, and they identified three clinical trials that fit him, one of which his oncologist is the lead investigator on. He was very impressed with the ease of interaction in working with Massive Bio. “The way that you’ve built your whole value chain is one of the more complete solutions that I’ve seen.”
Upcoming Meetings – Wednesdays at noon Eastern
- June 29: Brian McCloskey, on “Feedback on my 17 treatment options?“
- July 13: Wendy Fantl, PhD, Assistant Professor, Urology, Stanford Medicine, on “Single cell and cancer heterogeneity analysis“
- July 20: Noah Berlow, PhD, and Jim Foote, First Ascent Biomedical, on “Functional Precision Medicine and AI/ML for Clinical Decision Support“
- July 27 (at 1:00pm Eastern): Panel Discussion: Proteomics and Clinical Decisions – Karin Rodland (OHSU), Kristina Beeler (Biognosys), Marlon Ruiz (Olink)
- August 3: Alex Feltus, Professor, Department of Genetics and Biochemistry, and Marc Birtwistle, Associate Professor of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering and Bioengineering, Clemson, on “Simulation Models to Guide Clinical Decisions“
- August 10: Bryce Olson and Bob Gatenby, MD, Moffitt Cancer Center, on “Bipolar Androgen Therapy”
- August 31: Tom Smith, MD, Johns Hopkins, “Palliative Care for Prostate Cancer”
- To be scheduled: Peter Kuhn, PhD, Dean’s Professor of Biological Sciences and Professor of Medicine, Biomedical Engineering, Aerospace & Mechanical Engineering, and Urology; Founder and Chief Scientific Advisor, Epic Sciences, on “Liquid Biopsies“