Looking ahead to 2021 ASCO Annual Meeting: Oncology

Looking ahead to 2021 ASCO Annual Meeting: Oncology

The annual meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO), will kick off on June 4. Featuring presentations on the latest ground-breaking science in oncology, this event is always a must-attend for anyone involved in developing better treatments for cancer.

Cancer patients and COVID

This year ASCO is more relevant than ever considering the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on cancer patients and oncology clinical research. The pandemic has had serious consequences for cancer patients. According to an article published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute[i] cancer patients who contracted COVID-19 had a 23% risk of mortality compared to a 6% risk for non-cancer patients. In patients treated with chemotherapy, surgery or immunotherapy, the case fatality rate was 25.6%, 27.6% and 24.3%, respectively. The pandemic also caused delays in screening programs and patients receiving diagnoses.

Impact in clinical trials

The COVID-19 pandemic has also had a huge impact on oncology clinical trials causing major disruptions and delays to studies all over the world. A study published in The Lancet in early 2021 found that there was “ a 60% decrease in new cancer clinical trials and biological therapies during the COVID-19 pandemic 2020”[ii]. Issues relating to patient enrollment, logistics problems and patient safety were cited as the key obstacles to continuing trials and establishing new trials throughout 2020. After an initial period in early 2020 when almost all trials were paused or halted, the clinical research sector found ways to get research back on track by using virtual and hybrid models of clinical trials allowing for remote monitoring. As many developed countries are now emerging from the pandemic and entering a recovery phase, hopes are high that oncology research can rebound to deliver more innovative treatments to patients.

Cromos Pharma is looking forward to ASCO 2021, to learn more about emerging treatments and how the sector is responding to the pandemic-related challenges.

Cromos Pharma and Oncology Clinical Research

Cromos Pharma has extensive experience in managing all aspects of clinical trials in oncology in all Phases, I, II, III and post market/observational. Oncology studies represent nearly 20% of our work and we have successfully managed 100+ studies in oncology from breast cancer to hematology-oncology. Regulatory inspections and site audits attest to the highest quality of our clinical data: EMA in 2019 (1-week oncology site inspection); FDA in 2017 (2-week oncology site inspection). 

Why Cromos Pharma?

  • Global expertise combined with in-depth experience and knowledge in Central and Eastern Europe.
  • Extensive PI/site network and unparalleled access to patient databases and key opinion leaders.
  • Unrivalled record for patient recruitment – our team has met or reduced enrollment timelines in 95% of trials conducted over our sixteen year history.
  • Responsible recruitment is supported by our “No Patients-No Payments” initiative – a unique risk-sharing program. 
  • Optimized start-up timelines in our regions e.g. we achieve regulatory approvals in the Republic of Georgia, within two months of project  signing.

Find out more about Cromos Pharma’s oncology expertise and how we can support your next clinical study by emailing bd@cromospharma.com


[i] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7128879/

[ii] https://www.thelancet.com/journals/lanonc/article/PIIS1470-2045(21)00067-X/fulltext





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