Pashtoon Murtaza Kasi, MD, MSc, on the Use of an AI-Driven Clinical Trial Support Tool

The novel search tool uses artificial intelligence to restructure trial information, making it easier for patients and providers to access clinical trial information.

A study presented at the 2021 American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) Gastrointestinal Cancers Symposium found that a novel patient-focused, artificial intelligence (AI)–driven clinical trial support tool can aid in providing patients access to clinical trials.

The novel search tool, which can be found at, uses AI to restructure trial information. By democratizing trial information, investigators suggested that trial accrual as well as patient satisfaction will increase as disparities decrease simultaneously.

In an interview with CancerNetwork®, Pashtoon Murtaza Kasi, MD, MSc, of the University of Iowa, explained what such a platform could afford both oncologic providers and patients.


You know, I think the same problem that patients and caregivers face, [providers]…seem to face the same issue every day. The nice thing about some of these trials is they’re not necessarily specific to 1 cancer, which means that even within my own institution, there might be a trial that may be looking for several kinds of [cancers] and there might be an opportunity to participate in those trials, but I may or may not necessarily know about them. And as soon as we go outside of my own institution, I may or may not know about trials that are within driving distance…at other neighboring academic institutions.

The key point from a physician standpoint is also the ability to have a platform that can allow me to navigate trials, so that I could provide options for [my patients]. Because often, I myself or many of my physician colleagues, we are the patients’ advocates and champions. While it’s not only their responsibility to be looking for trials, because at the end of the day they’re coming to you for your treatment and opinion, at the same time, I can’t tell you the number of times where my patients and caregivers have taught me or told me about a trial that I didn’t even know existed. It’s a good problem that we have new trials and new options and new treatments.

Having a platform like this takes the burden off from both the patients and the caregivers and the providers, where at least the clunky navigation part or some of the understanding part or just the access part… is something that could be easily addressed so that conversation is a little bit more meaningful. We often have lists of trials or things that we get asked [about] which may or may not at all be applicable or relevant to a particular patient. We could save them that time and trouble by bringing to the table, through these filters and mechanisms and using some of these AI platforms, the trials that are of particular interest and value for that particular patient in front of you as opposed to this laundry list of trials that may or may not be relevant.


Kasi PM, Jordan E, Jahreiss L. Deploying an AI-based online search tool to increase patients’ access to and understanding of solid tumor GI clinical trials. J Clin Oncol. 2021;39(suppl 3). Abstract 456.