Mayo Clinic clinical trials system gets a boost

Mayo Clinic has streamlined a clinical trials software system that could provide a chance to manage — and involve more Mayo researchers — in larger and more complex clinical trials.

Mayo’s Clinical Trials Management System positions the health system to increase its presence in both industry-sponsored trials as well as trials sponsored by the National Cancer Institute, Mayo officials said. Organizations like NCI are pushing broader use of Clinical Trials Management Systems so researchers can share more data with fewer errors and in a more organized way.

But Mayo claims that creating and implementing its Clinical Trial Management System puts it ahead of the curve of other research institutions. Mayo’s comprehensive cancer center is among a number of leading institutions collaborating to streamline research, including MD Anderson Cancer Center, Ohio State University Research Foundation, University of the Sciences in Philadelphia and University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. But Mayo will use the information and system for non-cancer trials, it stated.

Mayo has about 8,000 “protocols” in its Internal Review Board system, which reviews clinical research done by researchers. However, only a fraction of those studies would use the clinical trials system; the system is designed for the larger, complex, multi-site clinical trials.

Many of the non-cancer multi-site trials are still paper-based, and the new system would cut down on that dramatically, said Brian Decker, Mayo’s CTMS program manager. Plus, Decker said, exponentially more Mayo investigators would begin mentioning the Clinical Trial Management System in grant applications to gain a competitive edge, and Mayo would be able to work with smaller hospitals to conduct research.

“It gives us a service opportunity to reach them in a more efficient way,” Decker said.

Mayo will use the system on pilot studies about Alzheimer’s disease and nicotine dependence as well as cancer clinical trials through the end of this year. It will apply the Clinical Trials Management Systems throughout Mayo — as well as to other research institutions working with the hospital — starting in 2011.

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