Texas Clinical Trial Network



The Texas Clinical Trial Network (TCTN) is a project of the Texas Life Science Foundation with a mission “To accelerate the success of clinical research and advanced medical technologies in Texas to prevent and control cancer and other life threatening diseases.” 

TCTN is focusing first on oncology treatment trials, and then as opportunities arise we will expand to other diseases and trials. TCTN’s objectives are to:

1) Expand recruitment, especially among underserved and minority communities
2) Accelerate enrollment
3) Support trial retention and communication

Of the 10.1 million adults in the United States with cancer, only 3-5% of adult cancer patients participate in clinical trials, yet clinical trials are critical to the development of new therapies and diagnostics to cure and treat cancer and other diseases.

Achieving diversity in clinical trials is difficult.  Health disparities create problems not only in access for patients seeking treatment with new therapies under development, but also for companies whose trials need to accurately reflect the action of new therapies on diverse populations with differing genetic profiles.  

Currently, the patient composition of clinical trial participants does not mirror those in the population with the highest rates of cancer.  For example, more than 60 % of all cancers occur in older Americans, yet only 25% of those taking part in cancer studies in 2004 were over 65 years old.  Additionally, women, racial and ethnic minorities, and those living in rural areas are significantly underrepresented in clinical trials.  Among participants in cancer trials from 1995 to 1999, only 10% of the total represented African Americans, Asian/Pacific Islanders, Hispanics and Native Americans.

TCTN Strategies and Benefits

TCTN’s strategies are to develop a statewide clinical trial infrastructure for Texas in order to educate patients and physicans and to offer personalized services to match refer and provide navigation support to patients considering and participating in clinical trials.  The strategies and infrastructure design include the following:

  • A Texas Clinical Trial/Site Database:  Designed to Improve  access to Texas  trials and sites this database will offer linkages and collaboration opportunities to clinics, hospitals, advocacy and community groups and pharmaceutical and biotech industry partners
  • Case-Based Clinical Trial Navigation:  Web and toll-free phone prescreening and referral (with focus on minority and underserved patients): Navigation and screening supports personalized medicine and patient segmentation 

TCTN is designed as an entrepreneurial nonprofit, and once initiated has the potential to deliver significant benefits for patients, families and the cancer community in Texas include the following:

  • Providing trained clinical trial navigators to expand recruitment and accelerate enrollments of patients into trials at Texas sites;
  • Enhanced public and professional education and awareness of the benefits of research and trials;
  • Improved opportunities for minorities and underserved populations in Texas to consider clinical trial options;
  • New processes for clinical trial participant navigation and social networking to enhance trial retention and  communication;
  • Enhanced opportunities for collaboration among investigators, sites, and communities; and
  • New opportunities for industry to locate and open trials in Texas communities bringing economic and workforce benefits

Stay tuned for more information on this exciting project of the Texas Life Science Foundation.

For more information about the Foundation or the Texas Clinical Trial Education Network, please contact:  dvd@tlsfoundation.org.