We certainly think so and our research team, led by Leanne Ogden, our specialist nephrology Clinical Research Fellow, are working hard to do just that. At the recent NCRI Cancer Conference in Glasgow, Leanne presented our nephro-oncology research collaboration with the Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust’s renal medicine team. The aim of this research is to find ways to include patients with reduced kidney function in clinical trials by using intensive, home based, monitoring.

Recruitment to cancer clinical trials is an ongoing challenge and usually limited to patients with preserved kidney function, due to concerns over damaging the kidney function further with nephrotoxic anti-cancer treatments. This restriction that allows only those with an eGFR of >50ml/min is arbitrary and not a risk-based approach driven by current clinical science in nephrology.

Our research assessed whether new technological advances in point of care (POC) creatinine meters and digital science could be applied to enable personalised risk-based monitoring. We created an approach that explored the potential and acceptability of using a POC device, data capture via a smartphone, and risk-categorisation through an Acute Kidney Injury (AKI) algorithm, to enable decision-making and the first step in addressing this unmet clinical need.

“This project has the potential to begin the process of challenging and changing the current culture of exclusion within clinical trials to be inclusive of people with all levels of kidney function. I would like to see populations within clinical trials become truly reflective of the ‘real world’ including patients with all levels of kidney function. If patients with reduced kidney function are at higher risk of developing cancer then they should have the same treatment options as patients with normal kidney function” says Leanne Ogden, Clinical Research Fellow.

Listen here to find out more ‘About Us’ and hear why a transformation in clinical trials is needed.