Lee Greenberger, PhD, chief scientific officer of the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, discusses how the pandemic changed clinical trial enrollment in the leukemia/lymphoma space.
Lee Greenberger, PhD, chief scientific officer of the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, discusses the COVID-19 pandemic's impact on clinical trial enrollment and the importance of open communication between patients participating in trials and their physicians.
From your vantage point, is the pandemic still affecting clinical trial enrollment? What strategies have been effective for keeping trials going?
We definitely saw an impact on trial enrollment during COVID. Many of the clinicians told us about that. There's multiple reasons: Patients were afraid to come in, and the staff to do the work, they were either getting infected [or] they were not coming in. So, it definitely had an impact.
What we have seen is actually that enrollment has come back up, and I think that the NCI [National Cancer Institute] has actually reported on that as well—that, in general, clinical trial enrollment has come back up. Physicians and clinics have learned to deal with it, and I don't think that patients should be as concerned.
That being said, patients need to report if they get an infection to their physician on a clinical trial. As I said, there are steps that can be taken within the first 5 days. Patients should not hesitate to contact their physician if they're on a clinical trial and in the event that they get COVID.