The following article features coverage from the ASCO Gastrointestinal Cancers Symposium 2021 meeting. Click here to read more of Cancer Therapy Advisor‘s conference coverage.

A novel, artificial intelligence (AI)-based search tool was found to simplify gastrointestinal (GI) cancer clinical trial identification, improve understanding of study-related information, and clarify the steps involved in trial enrollment, according to data presented at the 2021 Gastrointestinal Cancers Symposium.

These results derive from a 20-minute survey that compared the clinical trials registry with, an AI-powered tool that matches patients with GI malignancies to clinical trials based on 7 factors: tumor type, cancer stage, across solid tumors, mutation profile, prior treatment status, trial sponsor, and trial phase. A 5-point Likert scale was used to rank user experience with each website.

The findings, presented by Pashtoon Kasi, MD, MS, showed that made it easier for patients to select studies (3.7±0.9) than did (2.7±1.3). Respondents also reported an improvement in their ability to understand the information presented with compared with (3.8±1.1 vs. 2.6±1.3). The newer website provided more clarity on the next steps of trial enrollment (4.2±0.8 vs. 3.7±1.4), translating to higher patient satisfaction (3.4±1.1 vs. 2.3±0.5).

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“Patients have limited access to and understanding of clinical trials and the online search tools that we have available can be very hard to navigate, not only for patients but also for providers, which makes it very difficult to find clinical trials,” Kasi said of the new tool, which uses AI to restructure trial information across 6 supported GI cancer types.

The survey is ongoing. Results will be updated at a later date, according to Kasi, of the University of Iowa Health Care’s Carver College of Medicine.

Disclosures: Some of the study authors disclosed financial relationships with the pharmaceutical industry and/or the medical device industry. For a full list of disclosures, please refer to the original study.

Read more of Cancer Therapy Advisor‘s coverage of the ASCO GI 2021 meeting by visiting the conference page.


Kasi PM, Jordan E, Jahreiss L. Deploying an AI-based online search tool to increase patients’ access to and understanding of solid tumor GI clinical trials. Presented at: Gastrointestinal Cancers Symposium, January 15-17, 2021. Abstract 456.