Clinical Research’s Most Wanted: The Perfect Patient

Clinical Researcher—April 2021 (Volume 35, Issue 3)


Gary W. Cramer


“I refuse to join any club that would have me as a member.”—Groucho Marx

Taking our cue from the inimitable comedian quoted above, this issue’s roundup of excerpts from recent press releases launched into the weboverse by various companies and organizations (no endorsements implied) focuses on the challenge of attracting patients who are perfect for inclusion in a clinical trial but for the fact they don’t want to participate, or perhaps more accurately, don’t know enough about the opportunity to make a well-informed decision.

Partners Aim to Accelerate Recruitment for Decentralized Clinical Trials

THREAD, a technology and service provider that enables decentralized clinical research, and CureClick, a community-powered platform for participant recruitment for clinical trials, in March announced a new partnership focused on engaging social media influencers to increase recruitment outcomes in decentralized clinical trials (DCTs). Combining THREAD’s platform with CureClick’s network of more than 100,000 patient activists and advocates, influencers can now highlight potentially life-saving DCTs within targeted social media networks to achieve increased enrollment, retention, and satisfaction rates.

CureClick aims to increase clinical trial awareness and accelerate patient recruitment by enabling trusted members of online communities to easily find and disseminate accurate, patient-friendly information across their social networks. Through this partnership, CureClick patient activists, or “ambassadors,” will deliver eligible participants to THREAD’s automated participant recruitment and onboarding solution.

CISCRP Announces Second Annual AWARE for All 2021 Virtual Event Series

The Center for Information and Study on Clinical Research Participation (CISCRP), a nonprofit organization dedicated to engaging the public and patients as partners in the clinical research process, in March announced the launch of AWARE for All 2021a free virtual event series designed to educate the general public about clinical trial research and participation. In the series’ second year, CISCRP is hosting five regional events across the country from April through November, with a focus on engaging diverse communities to ensure representative and inclusive clinical research for the future.

Following its opening event for the Northeast region in mid-April, the remaining virtual events in the series are:

  • AWARE for All Northwest (Seattle, Portland, San Francisco, Boise, Billings) on Thursday, May 20, from 4:30 to 6:00 p.m. MDT.
  • AWARE for All Midwest (Chicago, Columbus, Detroit, Indianapolis, Minneapolis) on Thursday, July 22, from 4:30 to 6:00 p.m. CDT.
  • AWARE for All Southwest (Los Angeles, Dallas/Houston, Phoenix, Denver, Las Vegas) on Thursday, October 21, from 4:30 to 6:00 p.m. MST.
  • AWARE for All Southeast (Nashville, Charleston, Atlanta, Charlotte, Jacksonville) on Thursday, November 18, from 4:30 to 6:00 p.m. EST.

Mount Sinai to Lead Team to Decrease Disparities in Cancer Clinical Trials

Mount Sinai researchers have received a grant award to lead a collaborative team of New York institutions in an initiative that addresses disparities in the participation of Black, indigenous, and people of color (BIPOC) in cancer clinical trials. Stand Up To Cancer® (SU2C) awarded $6 million to a multi-institutional team, its first team of researchers dedicated to health equity in cancer research.

The team, which has been named the SU2C Health Equity Breakthrough Team, will be led by Nina Bickell, MD, MPH, professor of population health science and policy at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. The team includes doctors and scientists specializing in both social science and clinical research from four New York City institutions that serve some of the most diverse and medically underserved communities in the United States.

“Much of our standard of care in cancer is grounded in research with mostly white populations,” said Bickell. “Our goal is to figure out how we can change that—in how scientists approach their work, how medically underserved communities can learn more about pioneering cancer research and treatments, and how care delivery systems can make it easier for patients to learn about clinical trials.”

Participation by BIPOC patients in all cancer clinical trials has traditionally been very low. The team will work with community-based groups and community oncologists in New York City to help engage people from medically underserved communities and try to establish new standards regarding their views on cancer care and research, in part by creating a digital system that will link patients with clinical trials in the region.

Gary Cramer headshot

Gary W. Cramer ( is Managing Editor for ACRP.