ALCF Partners with Free To Breathe to Launch $75,000 Clinical Trial Innovation Prize

Posted by Kassy Perry

Crowdsourcing Ideas to Increase Patient Accrual in Cancer Clinical Trials

San Carlos, Calif. (February 4, 2015) – Today, in honor of the 2015 World Cancer Day, the Bonnie J. Addario Lung Cancer Foundation (ALCF) and Free to Breathe announce a new partnership to collaboratively launch a unique two-phase challenge, the Clinical Trial Innovation Prize, to identify innovative ways to increase the number of patients participating in cancer clinical trials.

Clinical trials are research studies designed to answer specific questions about biomedical interventions, and rigorously evaluate the safety and efficacy of new methods of prevention, detection, screening and treatment of cancer. Clinical trials are by far the most reliable and the only scientifically accepted method to take discoveries from the lab bench to the patient bedside.

“Clinical trials are an important link in the process of discovering new treatment options,” said Bonnie J. Addario, Stage-3B lung cancer survivor and founder of the ALCF. “Advances in science enable new opportunities for prevention and treatment for all cancer conditions, but we need more patient data to continue this momentum.”

Unfortunately, many cancer patients are unaware of the benefits that clinical trials offer in the course of their treatment, such as gaining access to the latest cutting-edge treatments and better disease monitoring and management. On average, less than three percent of cancer patients enroll in clinical trials. Participation is even lower among particular groups, including people who are racial and ethnic minorities, over 65, lower income, and living in rural areas.

“Each trial is designed with a targeted accrual in mind, i.e. the total number of patients it needs to enroll for the clinical trial results to be statistically significant and accurate. Because of several unfortunate factors, some as simple as a lack of awareness among patients and physicians, a vast majority of clinical trials are unable to accrue patients, and are halted prematurely,” said Guneet Walia, PhD, Director of Research and Medical Affairs at the Bonnie J. Addario Lung Cancer Foundation. “For some patients, a clinical trial is the best treatment option available. However, one in five clinical trials for adults never finish for reasons unrelated to how well the treatment works or the side effects it has, but because of the unfortunate fact of poor patient accrual.”

This lack of patients in clinical trials results in many trials not reaching statistical significance, in addition to a host of other problems, and delays clinical research and getting useful treatments to patients.

“Poor patient accrual to clinical trials is a leading hurdle in clinical research, delaying cancer patients’ access to better diagnostics and therapeutics. At the end of it all, patients pay a heavy price on time, a precious resource they don’t have the luxury to waste,” said Dr. Walia.

The Clinical Trial Innovation Prize, launched on World Cancer Day, focuses on finding breakthrough solutions to improve clinical trial participation through crowdsourcing, using the platform provided by HeroX. The Addario Lung Cancer Foundation and Free to Breathe are looking for innovative solutions that can be implemented across geographies, cancer type and demographics; and are scalable and sustainable.

Individuals from all over the world can submit their ideas online and request expert feedback to fine-tune their submissions. The first phase of the prize, the Ideation Challenge, will award prizes totaling $30,000 USD. The Ideation Challenge seeks creative and novel ideas to identify breakthroughs that double the accrual rate of clinical trials in the diagnosis and treatment of cancer.

The second phase or the Proof-of-Concept, Implementation Challenge will award prizes totaling $45,000 USD to the competitor(s) who can offer proof that their ideas have resulted in an increase in participation in cancer clinical trials.

“We know that amazing ideas can come from anywhere,” Addario said. “The Innovation Prize could have a profound impact on improving cancer care for everyone.”

For more information on the Innovation Prize please visit www.herox.com/clinicaltrials

INFOGRAPHIC: http://www.freetobreathe.org/images/uploads/Clinical_Trials_Infographic.pdf

About the Bonnie J. Addario Lung Cancer Foundation
The Bonnie J. Addario Lung Cancer Foundation (ALCF) is one of the largest philanthropies (patient-founded, patient-focused, and patient-driven) devoted exclusively to eradicating Lung Cancer through research, early detection, education, and treatment. The Foundation’s goal is to work with a diverse group of physicians, organizations, industry partners, individuals, patients, survivors, and their families to identify solutions and make timely and meaningful change and turn lung cancer into a chronically managed disease by 2023. The ALCF was established on March 1, 2006 as a 501c(3) non-profit organization and has raised more than $20 million for lung cancer research and related programs.
For those interested in learning more about ALCF, visit www.lungcancerfoundation.org and follow its activities on Twitter and Facebook.

About Free to Breathe
Free to Breathe, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, is a partnership of lung cancer survivors, advocates, researchers, healthcare professionals and industry leaders dedicated to doubling lung cancer survival by 2022. For more information, visit www.freetobreathe.org.

About HeroX
HeroX is a platform where anyone can spur innovation and solve problems by launching a challenge. A spinoff of XPRIZE, the leading organization solving the world’s Grand Challenges by creating and managing large-scale, high profile, incentivized prize competitions, and a joint venture with City Light Capital, HeroX harnesses the power and momentum of competition-based innovation to solve both philanthropic and commercial challenges. We provide the tools to make it easy for anyone to frame a problem and to inspire teams to compete to solve it. Everyone wants a chance to be a hero and we’ll show you how. You are HeroX. What’s possible together. For more information, go to www.HeroX.com.