Patients deprived of treatment undergo clinical trials in Ukraine

With the outbreak of the war in Ukraine, many scientific institutions, primarily Ukrainian, but also Russian, reported that it was impossible to continue their missions. Medical research has not been spared either. In Ukraine, at least 2.3 million people have been forced to flee to neighboring countries, halting many of the country’s clinical trials. In total, the American Medicines Agency (FDA) lists 250 ongoing trials, including 117 in the field of cancer. Among other targeted diseases, we also find multiple sclerosis, schizophrenia and Covid-19.

Because of the war, drug shipments and the departure of participants made it difficult, if not impossible, for these trials to continue. It is not possible to pause tests and resume them later. Patient treatment should not be interrupted and data collection should be continuous. “It will be very difficult to continue the tests already startedsays Professor Mike Clark, clinical trial specialist at Queen’s University Belfast. Science and the future. “Hired patients and healthcare workers may not be available. This will mean that the data collected so far, as well as the efforts already made for doctors and patients, will be wasted. This is a terrible loss because these trials were set up to address important medical issues. The answers will likely come much later, or may never be known now that the testing has been halted..”

The only way to access treatment

First of all, the termination of the trial may mean a loss of opportunity for the patient, depending on the severity of the pathology for which he was included. Some of them are terminally ill, and their participation in clinical trials was their only hope. “This can be terrifying for those who had no other way to access this treatment other than by taking part in a study. Moreover, special attention is paid to trial patients, with additional studies. It’s also terrible for future patients who could benefit from the findings of the trial.

At the moment, most of the trials taking place in the unoccupied and safe areas of the country are ongoing, explains Ivan Vishnevetsky, director of the Ukrainian Association of Clinical Research, which fights to maintain maximum research, despite the military context. “There are logistical problems with sending biological samples, as well as sending materials for research, but sponsors and CROs ( Contract Research Organization specializing in medical research, approx. ed.) active search for solutions.“They propose, for example, to conduct some tests on the spot, store samples in a frozen form and organize new warehouses in Western Ukraine in order to deliver them by land to the border.

Leave a Comment