We are delighted to announce that the digital Experimental Cancer Medicine Team is part of a consortia that has been awarded a 5 year Cancer Research UK Accelerator Award, ‘SMART Experimental Cancer Medicine Trials eNABLED’, or ‘UpSMART’ for short, to accelerate the digitisation of Phase 1 cancer clinical trials. CRUK MI Press Release

The purpose of the Cancer Research UK Accelerator Awards are to enable progress in translational cancer research through the development of tools, platforms and skills that form the foundations of such research.

What will we achieve through the Accelerator Award?

The Accelerator Award funding means that the Experimental Cancer Medicine Centres in the UK, Italy and Spain can use digital technology to enable data acquisition and data interpretation and create digitally enabled Phase 1 centres able to conduct technology clinical trials. The key areas of the programme will cover;

  • training centres on conduct of technology clinical trials
  • development of digital tools for clinical trial data capture
  • integration of phase I trial data points for decision making
  • creation of a digital network coordinating hub

What does this mean for the digital ECMT?

As part of the collaboration the digital ECMT will provide expertise and innovation for new digital technologies, developing prototype digital technologies from the centres and enhance existing ones to make them available across the participating centres.

Why is this important?

More companies are turning to clinical testing of digital devices and the appraisal of technology under clinical trial conditions. Phase 1 technology clinical trials are different to drug trials and the challenge can be determining the appropriate regulatory pathway and process. We have developed a regulatory framework to facilitate implementation of technology clinical trials and centres will need support and training on how to conduct clinical trials of new digital technologies.

Developments in mobile technologies, home test-kits and sensors mean that data acquisition can be extended outside the hospital to a patients’ home allowing more data to be collected and the potential to develop risk-based monitoring approaches.

Being able to visualise and interpret the vast amounts of data generated in an early phase clinical trial in near real-time is key to accelerating drug and technology developments for the benefit of patients. The digital ECMT has developed a research platform to be able the visualisation and interpretation of data.

We already have technology tools that engage patients, capture data and support decision making. To find out more click here to hear Andrew Hughes and colleagues talking about the work we do and Caroline Dive talking about the decision support tool, eTARGET for Manchester’s molecular tumour board.

Professor Caroline Dive, Director of the CRUK Manchester Institute Biomarker Centre and PI on this Accelerator Award, said “I am delighted that CRUK have funded this new European network to disseminate digital tools that support early clinical trials, the dawn of a new era – and we aim to be at the vanguard”.