The AI-based program will help Indian cancer patients suffering from difficult-to-treat cancers, according to the Times of India, where ongoing clinical trials have proven helpful. Because clinical trials are difficult for most patients to trust, foreign countries are helping patients in critical stages to access clinical trials. “Clinical trials will be the only way to bring this treatment to clinics, but India is mimicking and practicing Western knowledge,” said Professor Kumar Prabash of the Dr. Tata Memorial.
A healthcare company called Oncoshot India is reportedly planning to conduct a clinical trial and make it more accessible to cancer patients in India. The company’s AI-based program, which matches cancer patients with clinical trials in India, is expected to encourage pharmaceutical companies to consider further local trials. In cooperation with five hospitals nationwide, the company has collected data from about 25,000 cancer patients and built a database. Dr. Oncoshot India’s Nilesh Atre said, “Within the next six months, we plan to work with more hospitals to increase the database to 100,000 people.” Although not, the number of patients is increasing because the population is growing. He added, “With an estimated 2 million new cancer cases detected in India, India has the highest number of cancer patients at any given time.”
Vandana Gupta of the NGO V Care said clinical trials are essential for cancer patients and they should be informed about the benefits and detailed information, especially side effects, before they start. Dr. Prabash also reminds us of the costs if patients choose to go abroad for clinical trials.
According to a PricewaterhouseCoopers study, India accounts for about 3% of all participants in clinical trials. The study also suggests that cancer patients in India have been actively participating in clinical trials. Nonetheless, a subsequent report stated that patients were not informed of the study objectives, drugs, or side effects, indicating a lack of awareness. Integrating more hospitals with medical companies like Oncoshot and educating people about it would help India overcome its lack of awareness of cancer patients to a large extent.