‘Data is the key’: Strategic partnership leverages AI for cancer clinical trial placement

By Maggie Lynch

- Last updated on GMT

© metamorworks / Getty Images
© metamorworks / Getty Images

Related tags: Massive Bio, Artificial intelligence, Patient recruitment, Oncology, Cancer, Clinical trials

Partnership between Massive Bio and Azra AI extends clinical care teams bandwidth to place cancer patients in trials while eliminating unconscious bias.

Massive Bio, an artificial intelligence (AI) powered company focused on cancer clinical trial enrollment, will combine its ability to surface personalized clinical trial options with Azra AI’s proprietary AI software. 

Azra AI’s software, used in over 200 hospitals, reads pathology and reports in a fraction of a second, which according to the partnered companies, is significantly longer than the one to two minutes it takes for clinical teams to read the same reports.

Massive Bio’s platform, which is powered by 170 algorithms, connects cancer patients with relevant clinical trials. Massive Bio’s platform, which has onboarded more than 100,000 patients, is also able to account for social determinants of health.

According to Selin Kurnaz, co-founder and CEO of Massive Bio, “Data is the key to identifying the clinical trial that offers a patient the best chance at a positive outcome.”​ Using the AI platform clinical teams have an increased bandwidth for placing cancer patients with the best clinical trial opportunity.

Kurnaz told us, “I think this collaboration will have a tremendous impact by helping to instill greater confidence in patients that they have received the right diagnosis, and [that] they’re receiving only the best recommendations for clinical trials.

“That confidence will translate to higher enrollment and greater retention rates in clinical trials.”

According to Kurnaz, the partnership also eliminates unconscious bias as a barrier to enrollment in clinical trials by using artificial intelligence to identify a malignancy, then linking that diagnosis to data-driven recommendations for the patient’s treatment options through massive Bio’s AI platform.

Removing unconscious bias is imperative in clinical cancer trial enrollment because according to Kurnaz that unconscious bias occurs even among clinicians with the best intentions and that bias can influence care recommendations.

Kurnaz stated, “a study presented at the most recent ASCO annual meeting found that Black patients with metastatic breast cancer were significantly more likely than non-Black patients to say that no one on their healthcare team mentioned clinical trials as a treatment option.”

Kurnaz explained that while AI is only going to become more powerful over time, “there will always be a need to couple advanced analytics and automation with the human element” when it comes to recommending treatments to cancer patients.

“A certified nurse oncologist reviews and audits every Clinical Trial Matching Service report from Massive Bio’s platform before it is delivered to the patient and their clinician.”

After a patient enrolls in a clinical trial, Massive Bio provides service to assist patients with barriers to participation they might be facing, such as travel costs.

“We are at the patient’s side through every step of the clinical trial journey,” ​said Kurnaz.

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