Exploring Barriers to Pediatric Cancer Clinical Trials: The Role of a Networked, Just-in-Time Study Program

Clinical Therapeutics Manuscript
Authors Zachary Rivers, Ben Hyde, Karyn Ronski, Duncan Stearns, Stephanie Toll, Kevin Ritt, Matthew Cooney, Halla Nimeiri, Noah Federman, Kristiyana Kaneva

The Research to Accelerate Cures and Equity (RACE) for Children Act mandates that newly developed targeted oncology drugs be tested in children when molecular targets are relevant to pediatric cancers. In its first year, the RACE for Children Act was effective in creating novel drug development opportunities for children with cancer; however, significant barriers to clinical trial enrollment persist. Pediatric cancer clinical trials are impacted by challenges surrounding logistics, complexity, and access. As such, there is potential for a networked and centralized study approach to address these barriers. Here we discuss adapting a just-in-time clinical trial approach for adults to serve the pediatric oncology population. Through innovative patient matching solutions leveraging large, real-world datasets with high computational power, the Tempus Integrated Molecular Evaluation (TIME) for Kids Program aims to address barriers in the development of new therapies. This commentary explores the potential for reducing challenges in developing novel pediatric therapeutics, advancing equity in genomic biomarker testing for precision tailored treatment, and improving outcomes for pediatric oncology patients.