Mehmet Sitki Copur, MD, on Inadequacies of the Clinical Trials System Highlighted by COVID-19

August 12, 2020

The expert oncologist/hematologist spoke with CancerNetwork® about the challenges brought to light by the current pandemic.

In an article published in the journal Oncology, Aline Bobato Lara Gongora, MD, medical oncologist and preceptor of the Medical Oncology Fellowship at Hospital Sírio-Libanês in São Paulo, Brazil; Deni Leonardo Fontes Jardim, MD, PhD, medical oncologist at Hospital Sírio-Libanês; and Diogo A. Bastos, MD, genitourinary oncologist at Hospital Sírio-Libanês and Instituto do Cancer do Estado de São Paulo, discussed policies which should be implemented to the current clinical trials system as a result of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).

Based on observations made throughout the pandemic thus far, the team recommended the oncology research community implement formal policies based on the guidance given from regulatory agencies, with the goal of minimizing the risks of COVID-19 infection while maintaining appropriate oncologic treatments for patients during this pandemic.

“Regulatory agencies have formalized recommendations to help guide the research community,” the authors wrote. “Research institutions ultimately should write their own guidance materials, considering their site’s COVID-19 epidemiology and access of staff and patients to technologies, and discussions with their trials’ sponsors and their IRB/IEC should be ongoing.”

In an accompanying commentary, Mehmet Sitki Copur, MD, a medical oncologist/hematologist at Morrison Cancer Center of Mary Lanning Healthcare and a professor at the University of Nebraska Medical Center, explained the inadequacies of the current clinical trials system highlighted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Speaking further about these challenges in an interview with CancerNetwork®, Copur specifically discussed difficulties surrounding enrollment and protocol adherence difficulties, needing to reduce patient visits, staffing constraints, and limited availability of ancillary services.

This segment comes from the CancerNetwork® portion of the MJH Life Sciences Medical World News, airing daily on all MJH Life Sciences channels.