New technology that promises to boost transparency and efficiency in the study feasibility/site selection process for cancer clinical trials has been launched by specialist contract research organisation ACORN CRO in the US.

ACORN’s proprietary STAR (Site Tracking and Recruitment) tool includes a Site Repository containing all known information about each oncology research site in the ACORN network. This enables rapid selection of potential sites based on sponsor and/or study requirements, the CRO explained.

The new technology also reduces the need for study sites to complete repetitive tasks, ACON noted – for example, STAR is estimated to cut by around 75% the time sites traditionally spend on filling in study feasibility forms.

Moreover, sponsors can view a report summarising site identification metrics in real time, while STAR automatically sends reminder notifications throughout the start-up process, allows complete tracking of the status of each site contacted, and reduces the time needed to identify definitively suitable sites.

According to Kristie Lively, vice president of ACORN CRO, STAR substantially accelerates the start-up process for oncology clinical trials, delivering “impressive” economies of scale.

ACORN CRO is an offshoot of the national Accelerated Community Oncology Research Network. Based in Memphis, Tennessee, the network is privately funded and was created by community oncologists to address inefficiencies in clinical research.