Abstract PO4-13-04: Added Value from Patient Advocates in a Translational Working Group: the COMET Study

Cancer Research(2024)

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Abstract Introduction: A phase III multicenter prospective randomized clinical trial called “Comparing an Operation to Monitoring, with or without Endocrine Therapy (COMET)” (NCT02926911) assesses the risks/benefits of active monitoring (AM) versus surgery for women with low-risk ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS). It is funded by the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute and enrolled 997 women between 06/30/17 and 01/13/23. Research Patient Advocates (PAs) have been embedded from the study design stage and continue to provide guidance as part of the COMET leadership team. The COMET biobank is funded by independent foundations and is managed through monthly Translational Working Group (TWG) meetings. The TWG includes PAs, clinicians, pathologists, radiologists, and researchers from multiple institutions who discuss topics like categorization of biospecimens into discovery/validation sets; development of a pathology workflow/sample tracking process; use of small samples; and potential areas of future research/technologies that may improve DCIS diagnostics, prognostics, and care management. Methods: The TWG leveraged the existing Alliance Foundation Trials, LLC biobank infrastructure and facilitates the collection, submission, storage and analysis/use of blood, tissue, and breast images collected at specified timepoints and stored in central tissue/image repositories. PAs are active and integral in the TWG, assisting with logistical issues (contracts, transfer agreements, resource requests); communicating with sites; identifying study topics and biomarkers relevant to diverse patients; providing guidance on commercial predictive/prognostic tests; promoting effective stewardship of samples; ensuring overall focus remains on advancing clinical utility; and reporting translational study results to trial participants who agreed to donate samples/images. Results: Over 90% of requested samples/images have been submitted by ˃85 sites. Each patient’s biospecimens and pathology images are linked and de-identified for research. Use of artificial intelligence (AI) is being considered to assist in sample review. TWG members have complementary areas of expertise/experience and promote active stewardship for effective management of these scarce resources. PAs have played key roles concerning equitable data-sharing and acceleration of data and material transfer agreements. They have also been active in development of standards for discovery/training sets, validation test sets; communication procedures for patient cases that progress to future breast events; ways to catalog technologies (e.g., multi-omics, AI); and in research proposal review. Consensus has been achieved regarding major issues such as authorship, biospecimen custodianship, intellectual property, and criteria relevant to patient needs. Logistical barriers, including data sharing and technicalities of biospecimen release, have been resolved. The TWG also played an integral role in resolving recruitment challenges to COMET by creating standard pathology eligibility criteria, resulting in evidence-based protocol amendments that increased accrual. A retrospective review of biospecimens has been performed to determine adequacy for ensuing correlative molecular and spatial profiling studies. Conclusion: PAs help the COMET TWG set policy, and oversee biospecimen/image collection, and biobank use and sharing. PA input also facilitates equitable, transparent research studies and technology development that can improve personalized decisions for surgery versus AM in women with low-risk DCIS. PAs in the TWG aim to integrate the diagnostic and prognostic tools developed as part of the COMET study into future patient care. Citation Format: Deborah Collyar, Desiree Basila, Thomas Lynch, Stuart Schnitt, Jeffrey Marks, Siri Strand, Terry Hyslop, Sunil Badve, Mark Watson, H. T. Carisa Le-Petross, Lars Grimm, Robert West, Anna Weiss, Anna Rapperport, Lorraine King, Rachel Factor, Marc Ryser, Ann Partridge, E Shelley Hwang, Alastair Thompson. Added Value from Patient Advocates in a Translational Working Group: the COMET Study [abstract]. In: Proceedings of the 2023 San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium; 2023 Dec 5-9; San Antonio, TX. Philadelphia (PA): AACR; Cancer Res 2024;84(9 Suppl):Abstract nr PO4-13-04.
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