Background: Many Canadian cancer patients are located in remote areas which has the potential to make travelling to a tertiary cancer centre to receive care difficult. In addition, the number of emergent therapies in the oncology milieu which are oral is increasing; this puts particular onus on the patient to administer therapy properly and may reduce opportunities for follow up. The Ontario Telemedicine Network (OTN) provides a teleconferencing platform which we feel may obviate the need for difficult travel for individuals receiving oral therapy and improve quality of life when used for patient follow-up appointments.
Methods: This study is a prospective, randomized comparison of prostate cancer patients taking abiraterone or enzalutamide receiving care via an OTN based remote teleconference based clinic (OTN) (Arm A) versus standard care at Grand River Regional Cancer Centre (GRRCC) in Kitchener, Ontario, Canada (Arm B). Patients in Arm A will receive a link via email allowing access to OTN teleconferencing and will have a virtual 30 minute appointment with a pharmacist and nurse. Appointments in both the OTN and standard care arms will consist of an assessment using a modified version of the MASCC Oral Agent Teaching Tool. At each clinic visit, patients in both cohorts will complete a modified version of the E-PREMS tool validated by Cancer Care Ontario to assess patient satisfaction with care. Ordinal E-PREMS data will be compared between arms using the Mann-Whitney U test. At the end of the study period, patients randomized to Arm A will complete the Feasibility of Use of OTN Survey, a series of open ended questions about their experience with the OTN platform, with survey content to be examined using inductive content analysis. The trial is in progress and 20 of a planned 80 patients have been randomized as of July 2018. [Clinicaltrials.gov NCT03413865]