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Unpacking Industry Hurdles | Catalyst Clinical Research

April 25, 2024

3 min read

Top Takeaways from the Society for Clinical Research Sites (SCRS) Oncology Site Solutions

This month, our Catalyst Oncology team has been eagerly diving into conference engagements! While some of our team was immersed in the American Association for Clinical Research (AACR) conference, others were thrilled to attend the Society for Clinical Research Sites (SCRS) Oncology Site Solutions.

Blaine Maloney, Associate Director, Central Site Services, Catalyst Oncology, attended and was as a speaker on the “Navigate the Global Regulatory Landscape” expert panel. He returned with some key takeaways from the SCRS Oncology Site Solutions conference surrounding the challenges prevalent in the clinical trial industry. 

Some hurdles facing oncology clinical research sites include: 

Concerns about site budgets and the disconnect between CROs and sponsors

  • Catalyst Oncology addresses this by maintaining an open line of communication and collaboration with our clients. We listen to our clients’ and sites’ needs and work together toward a solution. As an example, read more about the benefits of our early phase oncology site network.  
  • We leverage an industry-standard benchmarking tool for initial study grant estimates and advise sponsors on what sites will find palatable based on recently negotiated budgets. A realistic starting point shows sites we value their participation, and minimizes cycle times and contracting duration, which is often the rate-limiter to site initiation. 

Difficulty balancing client needs and the potential slowdowns caused by piecemeal submissions

  •   Our Catalyst Oncology teams are flexible in their approach and work to balance clients’ needs with finding the most efficient cadence for the submission process. We leverage our recent experience with global submissions and advise on the pros and cons of a multi-step submission vs. waiting for a comprehensive package.  

Decreased enrollment stemming from increasingly complex informed consent forms (ICFs)

  • To combat decreased enrollment rates, we streamline our ICF process through electronic submissions, constantly learning and staying on top of the latest technology. 

Increase in site staff turnover rates resulting in a less experienced workforce

  • Our teams recognize the challenges of staff retention and are committed to engaging with sites from start to finish to help be their “CRO of choice.” If turnover occurs at the site, we are collaborative and supportive of a smooth transition, so startup or enrollment momentum is maintained. 

Constant changes in regulations

  • Catalyst stays current with evolving regulations, emerging trends, and advanced technologies. Our experts are constantly learning and looking for ways to provide a flexible, tailored approach for your unique situation.  
  • As an example, we have extensive experience with the new European Clinical Trial Regulation (EU CTR) and can guide sponsors on the process and typical pitfalls. To learn more about Clinical Trials Information System (CTIS) that the European Union has launched, read the Journal for Clinical Studies Watch Pages column written by two of our Catalyst Oncology experts.  

Clearly, the hurdles in our industry are complex. That is why it’s crucial to partner with a CRO that recognizes these challenges and tackles them as they arise. Catalyst Oncology’s approach to these industry obstacles is grounded in our experienced team members and our company core values that guide us as we partner with both our clients and our sites: Collaboration, Listening, Flexibility, Commitment, and Learning.