More often than not, the general public forgets it takes more to fix an illness than just medication. That medication or treatment must be clinically approved and tested, a process which could take several years. However, new research concerning Multiple Myeloma, an incurable but treatable variant of blood cancer, shows that process could receive a much needed boost. And it is a boost that could go beyond just Multiple Myeloma and help treatments for other forms of cancer.

The Multiple Myeloma Research Consortium revealed data showing significant acceleration in its clinical trial timeline at the annual meeting of the American Society of Hematology Dec. 13.

"We are working to break down the barriers that prevent timely completion of clinical trials in ways which we believe can serve as a model far beyond multiple myeloma," New Canaan resident Kathy Giusti, founder and CEO of the Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation and MMRC, and a myeloma patient, said. "Our goal is to drastically accelerate drug development timelines and get promising new treatments to patients as quickly as possible. We are grateful for each of our MMRC investigators who share this goal and whose dedication and work are critical to ensuring meaningful improvement and acceleration of clinical trials."

Medical trials, and most notably oncology trials, take a lot of time to get off the ground.

According to research provided by the MMRC, the average oncology trial takes two years just to get activated. For an actual drug to get approved, the average time is 7.2 years. What is worse is the literature shows it simple administrative paperwork can take up to a year and a half over the entire course of clinical testing. Furthermore, the research says less than 5 percent of adults diagnosed with cancer each year actually participate in clinical trials and the trials that take even longer to activate are not likely to get the correct number of patients required to obtain valid data.

"The MMRC model has produced tangible results in accelerating clinical trial timelines through improvements to key clinical trial measures, as evidenced by the data unveiled at American Society of Hematology," said Mackenzie Frick, of Feinstein Kean Healthcare.

Here are the most significant facts about the new process provided by the MMRC:

The recent trials opened 28 percent faster than the baseline trials, which opened at times consistent with industry standards (131 calendar days for recent trials versus 181 calendar days for baseline trials);

All MMRC trials opened 20 percent faster when comparing all participating MMRC centers on any MMRC trial (189 days for recent trials versus 236 calendar days for baseline trials);

MMRC trials enrolled 10 percent more patients than their pre-study enrollment commitment, with 89 percent of trials meeting their commitment;

MMRC trials enrolled patients 10 percent faster when compared to their baseline enrollment timeline, with 67 percent of trials meeting their pre-study enrollment commitment 34 percent, or 4.5 months, faster than their baseline enrollment timeline.

The Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation was established in 1998 as a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization by twin sisters Karen Andrews and Kathy Giusti, after Kathy's diagnosis with multiple myeloma. Since then, the organization has raised more than $170 million to fund nearly 120 laboratories worldwide, including 70 new compounds and approaches in clinical trials and pre-clinical studies. The foundation has facilitated more than 30 clinical trials through its affiliate organization, the Multiple Myeloma Research Consortium.

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