An article appearing in the Nov. 2, 2011 issue of Genome Web highlights the CollabRx Targeted Therapy Finders in the context of a discussion about the complexities of pre-screening regarding clinical trials for personalized (targeted) therapies.
Thomas Gwise, deputy director of the FDA’s biometrics division, is quoted as saying that online tools such as the Targeted Therapy Finder […] can pose a problem because prescreening patients for clinical trial enrollment based on the results of previously conducted laboratory tests with varying specificity and sensitivity may cause investigators to overestimate the performance of investigational personalized medicine products. Dr. Smruti Vidwans, CollabRx Chief Scientist, noted that “This is part of a much bigger trend in which healthcare is moving toward a personalized medicine approach.”
The article notes that so-called “self-selection bias” is inherently an issue in clinical trials because participants have a choice as to whether to ultimately participate in the study or not. Dr. Vidwans notes that: “The practice of medicine is changing as we speak, and that means clinical trial execution is going to be a part of it.”
The article points out that “CollabRx’s effort to match patients to treatments and clinical trials is part of a larger patient-centric movement in healthcare research, where study participants are increasingly demanding more control over their data and how that information is used.” The article quotes Dr. Vidwans: “Using web-based tools, what you’re doing is you’re kind of democratizing what used to be cutting-edge research and cutting-edge tools. So, someone at a small community center who may not have access to this information, may now have access.”
“Patient empowerment through the web is here to stay,” said Dr. Vidwans. “We’re all going to have to work together to figure out how to leverage this and not just think of it as a problem. There are other opportunities that could help reduce the bias and facilitate recruitment of patients that never would have been part of the equation.”
CollabRx welcomes collaborations with the creators and operators of clinical trials to work through these simultaneous information and personalization revolutions in biomedicine.”