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Nov 19, 2013

Crowdsourcing to Be Used in Metformin Prostate Cancer Trial

  • Transparency Life Sciences (TLS), along with Matthew Galsky, M.D., associate professor of medicine in the Division of Hematology/Oncology at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, will be designing and conducting a pilot trial assessing the diabetes drug metformin as a potential treatment for prostate cancer. This collaboration will also test using crowdsourcing to obtain input to the design of the clinical protocol, and telemonitoring to replace most patient site visits. TLS will be partnering with AMC Health, a provider of telehealth services, to conduct the metformin study.

    TLS and Dr. Galsky hope that the use of crowdsourcing and telemonitoring will increase participation in cancer trials and reduce the burden on patients.

    "Our prior research demonstrates that cancer trials are highly inefficient and geographically inaccessible to a large proportion of cancer patients," Dr. Galsky said in a statement. "We are optimistic that a greater number of patients would participate if they were more engaged in the process and the burden of site visits were reduced."

    In December of 2012, TLS received FDA clearance to initiate a Phase II study to assess the utility of lisinopril, an antihypertensive drug, as an adjunctive therapy in multiple sclerosis. TLS says that the clinical protocol for that trial is the first to use crowdsourcing in its design and is also one of the first to make intensive use of telemonitoring and other remote methods of collecting patient data.

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Scientifically Studying Ecstasy

MDMA (commonly known as the empathogen “ecstasy”) is classified as a Schedule 1 drug, which is reserved for compounds with no accepted medical use and a high abuse potential. Two researchers from Stanford, however, call for a rigorous scientific exploration of MDMA's effects to identify precisely how the drug works, the data from which could be used to develop therapeutic compounds.

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