Breast Cancer Awareness Month: A Case Study in Accelerating Clinical Trial Enrollment

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, the annual campaign to increase awareness and prompt diagnosis of the disease. Breast cancer is the second most common kind of cancer in women. About 1 in 8 women born today in the United States will be diagnosed with breast cancer at some point in their adult lives.

The good news is that most women can survive breast cancer if it’s detected and treated early. The even better news is that many new treatments are on their way, some addressing less prevalent or more aggressive forms of breast cancer. A search on clinicaltrials.gov, a registry of clinical trials run by the United States National Library of Medicine at the National Institutes of Health finds 2,678 active clinical trials for breast cancer. A clinical trial is the sole way that new medicines come to market, and thus these clinical trials need participants.

For one of these clinical trials, Seeker Health worked with a large, global pharmaceutical company enrolling a Phase 3 clinical trial in breast cancer with a genetic modifier to harness the power of social media and technology to accelerate enrollment. We created an engaging social media campaign to accelerate genetic testing, participant identification and clinical trial enrollment. Below, we share our insights on the challenge, our approach and the results of our work.

The Challenge

Our challenge was to educate women with breast cancer about the availability of this clinical trial and the opportunity to receive genetic testing, using social and digital media, with the ultimate goal of accelerating clinical trial enrollment.

The Approach

We developed a compliant Facebook campaign, focused on a subset of the Facebook user population which had previously taken actions that denoted an interest in breast cancer. To optimize the campaign outcomes, A/B testing of images, text and targeting were implemented. We deployed our tool for complete comment suppression on Facebook Newsfeed Ads to mitigate risk of user-generated misinformation. 

The Results

This social media campaign accelerated this clinical trial by three months, a very significant improvement, given that costs per month of trial operation run in the millions of dollars. Specifically, 9,419 US patients engaged via Facebook advertising to begin online pre-screen

and 866 US patients completed online prescreen and qualified for follow up by clinical trial sites. The results were so impressive that this company engaged us to replicate this program for a clinical trial in prostate cancer.

Accelerating Clinical Trials

Mastering the process of finding, engaging and activating patients for enrollment into a clinical trial is a key success factor for all biopharmaceutical companies developing new treatments. At Seeker Health, as we honor Breast Cancer Awareness Month, we also recognize the power of technology to accelerate treatment development for breast cancer and many other serious diseases.

If you’d like to learn more about Seeker Health’s technology and approach, please visit: www.seekerhealth.com

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Sandra Shpilberg is CEO of Seeker Health, a digital health company innovating the way that clinical trials enroll participants. Using technology and social media, Seeker Health helps medicines get developed faster and reach those who need them earlier. Seeker Health specializes in accelerating global clinical trials in serious diseases with hard-to-find patient populations, including oncology and rare diseases.