Oncology Teletrial allows patients to continue treatment

In September 2020, while Victoria dealt with COVID 19 border restrictions, Oncology Research was faced with a slightly different hurdle: How will interstate patients continue their essential trial treatments and activities?

Ensuring our trials could be performed under Good Clinical Practice (GCP) guidelines, were permissible by the Sponsor, and avoided interstate travel would require a whole new approach.

The answer was Teletrials.

This meant establishing a trial already underway at Monash Health, into another hospital local to the patient. So, we approached the Royal Hobart Hospital.

James Kinder, Clinical Study Coordinator and valued member of the Phase One Oncology team was instrumental working with Royal Hobart Hospital. Coordinating this effort was no simple task, but rather a lengthy process including all participating clinicians from both hospitals.

Coordinated beautifully by James, a team was formed. Roles included our Ethics Specialist Kelly Hoffman, Operations/Finance Specialists Merylyn Ryan and Emma Hoja, Principal Investigator Dr. Sophia Frentzas, input from our Clinical Trials Pharmacy department and guidance from our Monash Ethics department. These fundamental roles were mirrored at The Royal Hobart Hospital, thereby establishing all that Monash already had in place.

Close to two months after the process commenced, after endless Zoom meetings, emails with the Sponsor, phone calls, paperwork and contracts, we established the first Teletrial at the Royal Hobart Hospital.

The patient has since expressed his gratitude towards everyone, and for everything that Monash Health have done, to ensure his treatment could continue.

May this be the first of many successful trials, as we work to provide the same opportunity to a patient in another trial located in Tasmania.

Fabulous work James and team!

Approved by Eva Segelov – Director of Oncology

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