Oslo Cancer Cluster has since the start in 2007 worked on improving clinical trials efficiency in Norway. In order to secure patients access to new and innovative cancer treatments it is crucial to perform clinical trials of high quality. In Norway, early oncology trials are performed at both Oslo University Hospital in Oslo and Haukeland University Hospital in Bergen.

From 2011 til 2012 the number of clinical trials within cancer doubled from 29 to 60, according to the Norwegian Medicines Agency. 60 studies is as far as we know the highest number of clinical trials ever to be conducted in Norway. This number includes both investigator initiated studies as well as industry studies. Oslo Cancer Cluster is really pleased to see that a downwoard trend have shifted.

We have been especially conserned with the decreasing number of studies beeing initiated by the international pharma companies, and have adressed this accordingly. A foresight process to boost clinical trials within cancer in Norway was conducted in the autumn of 2012. A strategy group consisting of representatives from all Oslo Cancer Cluster member groups, public authorities and key clinical trial partners were involved in this process – and have come up with the strategy below.

Strategy for clinical trials

1. Contribute to the establishment of a national comptence center within clinical oncology trials.
2. Make it easier to perform clinical trials, e.g. remove regulatory and bureaucratic hurdles.
3. Attract capital to perform clinical oncology trials.
4. Increase the knowledge of the importance of clinical oncology trials among the government and the opinion.

Activities & achievements

Oslo Cancer Cluster has had clinical trials efficiency as a strategy area since 2007. Back then we initiated a LEAN-project at the Clinical Cancer Research Unit at Oslo University Hospital, the Norwegian Radium Hospital (OUS). The project was set up to learn more about the process of a clinical trial, the hurdles and the possibilities.

In 2009 Oslo Cancer Cluster decided to support the Clinical Cancer Research Unit at OUS with NOK 500.000 in order to sponsor an oncologist position, the same amount the Radium Hospital Research Foundation was already giving to the Unit. Oslo Cancer Cluster and the Research Foundation did this in order to increase the capacity to perform more clinical trials at the Unit. We continued with this annual grant until 2013.

In 2011 Nordic Nect was established. This is a Nordic Network for Early C linical Trials. The network is designed to ensure patient access to new investigational drugs and to allow customer information and easy access to phase I and early phase II programs in the Nordic countries. From 2011 – 2012 Oslo Cancer Cluster was represented in the strategy group.

In 2012 Oslo Cancer Cluster arranged a R&D Network Meeting in Bergen for the very first time; in order to connect the milieus in Oslo and Bergen closer togheter, and to showcase the clinical trials unit at Haukeland. In parallell with the R&D meeting, tours to the clinical trials unit and the childrens unit were performed. This was a great sucess, and was therefore adopted and performed in Oslo half a year later at the Clinical Cancer Research Unit at the Oslo University Hospital.