Cancer is one of the most common diseases worldwide, targeting all people, from young to old, regardless of age. Clinical studies are critical for developing new-generation treatments for cancer and reducing the side effects of oncology drugs. Selin Kurnaz is co-founder and chief executive officer of Massive Bio, which is the only company in the biotechnology industry with an oncology-focused artificial intelligence platform that aims to bring cancer patients together with clinical studies, no matter where they live or their financial circumstances. In this interview, Selin discusses the importance of participating in clinical studies.
Why is it important to participate in clinical trials?
Clinical trials are at the heart of medical advances. Clinical trials look for new ways to prevent, detect, or treat diseases. They play an essential role in improving the health of current and future generations. Clinical trials determine whether a newly found treatment method works and is safe. They aim to improve quality of life for people with chronic diseases and give hope. Clinical trials provide an opportunity to help researchers find better treatments for others in the future. Because they contain many combinations of drugs, they offer patients personalized treatment options.
What is clinical research and why do we need it?
Clinical research can be defined as a scientific study carried out with the participation of volunteer patients and aimed at obtaining medical knowledge. It seeks alternatives to current treatments with new-generation drugs to reduce the side effects of existing drugs. Clinical trials are essential for showing that emerging drugs are effective and safe in humans. Depending on the product type and stage of development, researchers initially enroll volunteers or patients in small pilot studies, then conduct increasingly larger-scale comparative analyzes to determine if a drug is effective and safe.
Where are clinical trials conducted?
Clinical trials are conducted in facilities approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, which has the personnel and resources to ensure the safety of human volunteers and the accuracy of the study results A clinical trial may be conducted at a single research center or at multiple centers in one country or in several countries.
Is a clinical study right for me?
More than 13,000 clinical trials are being conducted worldwide in the fight against cancer. It typically takes a doctor or his clinical staff about a half hour to identify a clinical trial that’s suitable for a cancer patient—that is, if they can find the time in their hectic schedules. After a patient provides Massive Bio with his or her medical data, it takes about 67 seconds, on average, for our artificial intelligence platform, SYNERGY-AI, to produce a full report with recommendations for suitable clinical trials. Before participating in a clinical trial, you will be told what to expect throughout the entire process. For example, someone from the research team will explain the treatment’s possible side effects or other risks. Once you have all this information, you can evaluate whether you want to participate.