Traditionally, phase I and true first-in-human studies are associated with healthy volunteer participants and not seen as an obvious treatment option for oncology patients. The rationale design of targeted therapies has resulted in significant changes in the design of first-in-human studies, which has a direct impact on the patient population for oncology studies. Participating in a phase I study can now deliver significant results for some patients, as seen at Linear Clinical Research.
As the only phase I unit in Western Australia and one of just five in Australia, the mission of Linear Clinical Research is to provide the patients of Western Australia with novel treatment options. Our facility is equipped to manage complicated phase I studies, with a dedicated oncology team, and a solid partnership with several institutions within our immediate community. Fast start-up, activation to the first patient to dose, quick data entry and the ability to exceed recruitment targets have worked in our favour to secure partnerships with key pharmaceutical and specialised biotechnology companies. We expect these partnerships to develop and expand over time.
The challenge now for Linear Clinical Research is to create awareness within the medical professional and patient community, that this option is available for oncology patients. In some cases, participating in a phase I study does not need to be the last resort for a cancer patient but could potentially be a treatment earlier in their treatment journey. The addition of molecular screening increases the potential for individualised treatment with a targeted therapy much earlier.
To meet our mission it is crucial to engage with the oncology community and create awareness of our studies so that patients may be referred early as slots on various studies become available.