Despite significant oncological advancements, the treatment process continues to impose a significant burden on patients who are forced to navigate recurring visits, multiple providers and complex, multi-modality treatment plans. Discoveries that improve the convenience of treatment regimens are very much at the forefront of innovation in oncology care.
Jorge Nieva, MD, a medical oncologist at USC Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center, part of Keck Medicine of USC, is part of a collaborative of investigators aiming to improve care by bringing treatment to patients in their own homes.
Nieva, also an associate professor of clinical medicine at the Keck School of Medicine of USC, recently co-authored a manuscript outlining the potential benefits of remote oncology care for reducing costs and expanding access to more patients.
The manuscript outlines how this can be achieved by expanding and providing financial incentives for programs in anti-cancer drug delivery, wearable health monitoring and digital data sharing.
In alignment with these tenets, USC Norris is spearheading a clinical trial exploring the value of at-home oncology therapy using immunotherapy and telemedicine. The phase II trial tests whether subcutaneous atezolizumab can be effectively given at home with medical care provided primarily using telemedicine in patients with non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC).
Clinical trial details and participation
Patients receive atezolizumab and recombinant human hyaluronidase SC over three to eight minutes on day one. Cycles repeat every three weeks for one year (early-stage lung cancer) or up to two years (late-stage lung cancer) in the absence of disease progression or unacceptable toxicity.
The trial is planned to run until December 2025.
“We are innovating new ways to take care of cancer patients,” Nieva said. “Patients can get clinical trial-based care from Keck Medicine from their home and consultations are available by telemedicine.
“Additionally, telemedicine is a great platform for patients to receive second opinions and information about whether a clinical trial is right for them.”
The trial has the potential to drive changes that will expand opportunities for patients with otherwise limited access. It will also contribute to determining the feasibility of cancer clinical trials conducted under a decentralized model with telehealth assessments.
For more information about this trial, visit clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/NCT05340309