Implementing precision medicine programs and clinical trials in the community-based oncology practice: barriers and best practices


There has been a rapid uptick in the pace of oncology precision medicine advancements over the past several decades as a result of increasingly sophisticated technology and the ability to study more patients through innovative trial designs. As more precision oncology approaches are developed, the need for precision medicine trials is increasing in the community setting, where most patients with cancer are treated. However, community-based practices, as well as some academic centers, may face unique barriers to implementing precision medicine programs and trials within their communities. Such challenges include understanding the tissue needs of molecular tests (e.g., tumor, blood), identifying which molecular tests are best used and when tissue should be tested, interpreting the test results and determining actionability, understanding the role of genetic counseling and/or follow-up testing, determining clinical trial eligibility, and assessing patient attitudes and financial concerns. The purpose of this article is to provide guidance to community-based oncology practices currently conducting clinical trials who want to expand their research program to include precision medicine trials. Here, we describe the core components of precision medicine programs and offer best practices for successful implementation of precision medicine trials in community-based practices.

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