June 11th 2020: Cancer Trials Ireland anticipates a return to a normal cancer clinical trials environment in the coming 2-4 months, subject to any developments of the COVID-19 crisis.
Our staff are currently planning a phased return to our offices in Glasnevin, with some personnel having already gone in this month for essential work. All of our staff continue to be available through our usual general channels (P: 01 6677211 / E: firstname.lastname@example.org) or through the personal contact details you may already have for them.
While accruals have been significantly reduced during the COVID-19 crisis, some studies have continued to accrue patients. As hospital site restrictions lift, Cancer Trials Ireland expects the accrual rate to pick up as sites gradually return to normal referral and treatment patterns.
Different studies and sites have been impacted by the COVID-19 crisis in different ways. For example, some hospitals’ cancer services including clinical trial units re-located to other premises, on-site trial visits by patients were changed to remote assessments where possible, some sites arranged alternative delivery of investigational products directly to patients, some study treatments were stopped due to risks. Each site will move towards normal operations in line with the individual challenges they face, and we project at least a 2-3 month timeframe for sites to return to normal clinical trial activity levels.
Cancer Trials Ireland has implemented remote monitoring where possible, with a view to maintaining oversight of study progress at trial sites in line with guidance issued by regulatory authorities (HPRA, EMA and others) for managing trials during the pandemic.
In recent weeks, three cancer clinical trial sites attached to hospitals have informed us they are re-opening on-site monitoring of studies. Cancer Trials Ireland is working with these sites to prioritise studies and schedule the monitoring visits accordingly and continues to engage with all other sites to plan for resumption of on-site monitoring activities.