Clinical trials at your fingertips thanks to new app
Friday, 11 September 2015
For the first time, Queensland doctors and blood cancer patients will have access to information about the latest breakthrough treatments at the press of a button on their mobile phone or tablet.
The Leukaemia Foundation of Queensland has worked with Haematology Clinical Research Network NSW to create a free mobile application, launched today in Brisbane, that connects patients and doctors to clinical trials across Queensland.
ClinTrial Refer Qld allows users to search for suitable trials by blood cancer type and hospital location, with results displaying summary information, sponsor and location details, and whether a trial is active or pending.
ClinTrial Refer apps in other states have already been shown to boost cross referrals and trial recruitment.
“Our goal is to continually innovate and look at the most cost-effective ways that will continue to improve health outcomes for blood cancer patients,” said Leukaemia Foundation of Queensland CEO, Bill Petch.
“This app ticks all the right boxes and we’re excited by its potential to link patients with promising and potentially life-saving treatments.”
“Based on its success in other states, we’re confident this simple tool will become a one stop shop for time-poor haematologists who will now have at their fingertips an up-to-date list of clinical trials in Queensland that are recruiting for a range of blood cancers.”
“The clinical trials we’re funding through our new Trials Enabling Program will be included, identifying internationally-led blood cancer trials operating in our state. Not only are we funding new blood cancer clinical trials in Australia through this program, we’re also making it easier for Queensland patients to find them.”
The ClinTrial Refer app includes details of inclusion and exclusion criteria, making it easier for doctors to refer their patient to trials from another hospital should their patient meet the criteria. Users can also easily share full details of the trial with family, friends or colleagues.
In New South Wales, the app has already led to a more than 300% increase in cross-referrals of patients to other hospitals and a substantial increase in trial recruitment across NSW.
Clinical haematologist at the Princess Alexandra Hospital in Brisbane, Dr Tony Mills, said the PA Hospital alone had more than 30 trials of new treatment for blood cancers and other blood conditions open for recruitment at any one time, with other Queensland centres having a range of additional trials open for patients in various stages of blood cancers and disorders.
“The Leukaemia Foundation’s ClinTrial Refer Qld app vastly simplifies the process of finding an appropriate clinical trial of novel treatment for blood cancers in Queensland,” Dr Mills said. “Patients and their doctors can quickly and simply use this app, and there is no doubt this will give more patients the option of accessing potentially life-saving medicines.”
Mary Renaud knows firsthand the value of participating in a clinical trial. Diagnosed with an aggressive form of acute myeloid leukaemia and given a poor prognosis, she signed up to participate in a trial and has seen significant improvements in her health.
“It’s been amazing. I haven’t had any real side effects and my health has improved,” Mary said. “I’m living a normal life again and am very thankful for the trial and the doctors who have treated me.”
“Anything that helps patients like me to be more aware of clinical trials they might be eligible for is great news as it is often only through clinical trials that they can access new and improved treatments.”
“Wherever they are, patients can simply use the app to identify local trials relevant to their blood cancer and then have a chat with their doctor to see if the trial is right for them,” she said.
UPDATE: State-based ClinTrial Refer apps have now been combined into one current and comprehensive ClinTrial Refer ANZ app. It is updated monthly and enables users to search for potentially suitable trials by blood cancer type. It can be downloaded from the App Store (iPhone, iPad users) or Google Play (Android users). Search for ‘ClinTrial Refer’.