July 9, 2024

Is Your Study on Track for the Next Dose Escalation? Ask Yourself These 4 Questions.

Picture this: You're the Director of Clinical Operations for a sponsor organization, and it's 9am on a Monday. Your phone rings — it's someone from leadership asking for an urgent update. "Are we on track for the next dose escalation?" they inquire. 

This simple question carries immense weight. The timely progression of your clinical trial may hinge on your response. A quick, accurate answer could advance your trial or set the stage for proactive risk mitigation to improve preparedness for dose escalation. A delayed or inaccurate answer, however, could result in setbacks, increased costs, or even trial failure.

In this high-stakes scenario, you need to be confident in your ability to provide an accurate and timely response. The pressure is on; not only do you need to ensure the trial is on schedule, but you also need to verify that every biospecimen required for dose escalation is accounted for and being properly managed. The risks of not having precise data at your fingertips are significant. Mismanagement of biospecimens can lead to delays, regulatory issues, and compromised data integrity.

As you take a deep breath, you begin to assess your current systems and processes. Are they robust enough to provide the real-time insights you need? To help you inform your trial’s dose escalation decision, consider these four essential questions that can guide your response and ensure your study remains on track.

1. Do you have real-time oversight to all the samples and the associated biospecimen data needed to perform dose escalation?

Managing biospecimen data is no small feat. With numerous samples collected at various time points across multiple labs, it's vital to have a robust system to oversee them all. Effective biospecimen lifecycle management ensures that you have a clear view of all samples from collection to analysis and beyond.

Consider whether your current system provides real-time access to sample metadata. Are you able to track each sample's journey seamlessly? If not, it may be time to evaluate the tools and processes you have in place. Having a comprehensive system that orchestrates the entire biospecimen lifecycle can significantly enhance your oversight capabilities.

2. Do you have access to complete and accurate biospecimen reports that empower you to make decisions about dose escalation?

The ability to make informed decisions about dose escalation hinges on the quality and completeness of your biospecimen data. Ask yourself:

  • What data is available to you, and where do your reports come from?
  • Does this data provide insights into potential risks and areas where you and your team should focus your efforts?
  • How do you ensure the accuracy and completeness of this data? Has this data been QC’ed?

If your data is fragmented or difficult to access, you might be relying on your study teams or biospecimen group to manually track down data from various sources — such as the EDC, lab databases, paper requisition forms, and air waybills. This not only slows down decision-making, but also increases the risk for error.

3. How long does it take you to respond to questions regarding sample status? Does this vary by sample type and/or other factors?

Timely responses to internal inquiries are crucial for maintaining confidence in your trial's progress. Evaluate how long it typically takes you to provide updates on sample status. Are there certain types of samples or factors that cause delays?

If your response times vary significantly or tend to be delayed, it may indicate inefficiencies in your biospecimen management processes. A streamlined system that provides real-time access to sample metadata can help you respond more quickly and accurately to inquiries from a colleague or leader within your organization.

4. How has your approach to biospecimen lifecycle management and data reconciliation prevented decision-making?

Biospecimen lifecycle management involves tracking samples from collection through analysis and beyond, ensuring data is accurately reconciled. Any gaps or delays in this process can hinder decision-making.

Reflect on instances where issues with missing samples, mishandled samples, or missing/discrepant sample metadata have impacted your ability to make timely decisions. How often do you encounter discrepancies that require manual reconciliation? These issues can delay critical milestones like dose escalation.

If your answer to any of these questions revealed gaps in your oversight of the biospecimen lifecycle, here’s what you can do.

Improving your oversight of biospecimen data that is used to make decisions about dose escalation involves implementing solutions that provide:

  • Real-time access to sample status: Having real-time visibility to sample status allows you to monitor the progress of each sample throughout the trial — including what has been collected, stored, processed, and shipped. This can help you quickly identify and address any issues that may arise.
  • Visibility to issues that could delay your trial: Comprehensive sample audit trails can help you flag potential issues that could impact your trial timeline — such as missing samples or delayed shipments. By addressing these issues promptly, you can minimize disruptions and keep your trial on schedule.
  • Standardization: Having a standardized system that ensures consistency across all sites, samples, and labs, can lead to improved data accuracy and completeness; reduced manual data entry and reconciliation efforts; faster identification and resolution of issues; and enhanced compliance with regulatory requirements. 

Slope makes sure you have everything you need for dose escalation.

Slope understands the complexities of managing biospecimen data in clinical trials. Our software orchestrates the entire biospecimen lifecycle, maximizing the completeness and accuracy of the data you need for dose escalation while increasing your visibility to that data. Here’s how we help:

  • Sample-guided workflows: Ensure that sites are collecting and sending every sample — including PK and PD samples — needed for dose escalation decisions.
  • Comprehensive sample audit trails: Detect and address any breakdowns in the biospecimen lifecycle quickly.
  • Shipment tracking: Gain real-time visibility to sample receipt at the lab.
  • E-requisitions and auto-generated manifests: Reduce duplicative data entry and lab queries that can delay downstream sample processing.
  • Lab integrations: Get a complete picture of the biospecimen lifecycle and accelerate the delivery of data needed for dose escalation.

By leveraging Slope’s comprehensive solution biospecimen lifecycle management, you can confidently answer that crucial question from leadership and ensure your study stays on track for the next dose escalation.

To learn more, click here to speak with an expert.

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