The Cancer Drug Development Forum held a Live Webinar Series on Lessons learnt from COVID-19 that explored, from different points of view, how the COVID-19 pandemic affected the clinical trial performance and assessment.
The first topic to be discussed as part of this Series is “A Cancer Institute’s experience in the operational cancer clinical trial performance during the COVID-pandemic” and took place on Friday, 07 May 2021 at 18:30-19:30 CEST. This Webinar featured a lecture given by Prof. Jean-Yves Blay (Centre Léon Bérard, France) followed by a discussion session.
The COVID-pandemic has had a major impact on cancer patients, on their treatments but also on the running of cancer clinical trials. How often did appointments have to be cancelled? How did one deal with required care, and have the threats of severe viral pneumonia affected the options for cancer care? How did all of this affect the running of pivotal clinical trials? These are just a few operational questions that Prof. Jean Yves Blay addressed during the discussion.
SUMMARY OF THE DISCUSSION
- COVID-19 impacted the accrual of newly diagnosed patients in 2020 and 2021, with biases for some specific isotypes
- Delays in diagnosis impacted the clinical presentation of patients and the potential curability in the long term
- Inclusion in clinical research (academic and pharma driven) program decreased during the first lockdown!
- The number of newly activated trial decreased in 2020, catch up observed in 2021
- Clinical research in covid-19 in cancer patients was initiated in record time, but inclusion was impacted by the very variable monthly incidence
Professor Jean-Yves Blay, MD is a medical oncologist, General Director of the Centre Leon Berard, the Comprehensive Cancer Centre of Lyon France, researcher and a Professor at the University Claude Berard, France. Since 2019, he is the President of the French Federation of Cancer Centers Unicancer. His work focuses on sarcoma, genomics and targeted treatment of cancer, immune-oncology, and the relationship between tumour immunologic microenvironment and malignant cells, with the goal of clinical applications in the field of diagnosis, prognosis and treatment. He has been distinguished with the Hamilton-Fairly award from ESMO (2012) and the Henry and Mary-Jane Mitjaville prize from the National Academy of Medicine (2013). He was the President of the ESMO 2019 congress (30000 participants).
Professor Blay is the Director of the LYRICAN SIRIC (previously LYRIC) since 2018. He is also the President of the French Sarcoma Group, the Network director of NETSARC+ network of sarcoma reference center for the INCA since 2019. He serves as secretary for the World Sarcoma Network (WSN), a think tank of all worldwide sarcoma research groups. He serves as the Network Director of ERN-EURACAN, designated by the EU Commission in 2016 to improve the quality of care for patients with rare cancers in the European Union.
18:30 – 18:35 (CEST): Introduction (Prof. Jaap Verweij)
18:35 – 19:00 (CEST): Lecture (Prof. Jean-Yves Blay)
19:00 – 19:30 (CEST): Q&A / discussion session (Prof. Jaap Verweij and Prof. Axel Glasmacher)