The beginning of the FastTrek Foundation began with one man’s battle towards defeating brain cancer. Nick Cardi is a successful business owner and family man from Rhode Island who actively fights cancer. In April of 2015 he was diagnosed with one of the most deadliest forms of cancer… Glioblastoma, a type of brain cancer with a five-year survival rate of 5.5%. With a low survival rate and zero FDA approved cures it was time for Nick and his family to start surveying all of their options for treatment.
Clinical Trials are at the heart of all medical advances. Thousands of them are happening all around the world all with the potential to prevent, cure, extend prognosis, or enhance the quality of life for the patient. While clinical trials are crucial for patients where prognosis is usually poor very few ever enroll and the reason for the low enrollment seems to be how difficult it is to connect a patient to one.
That is the problem Nick and his family found. They knew they wanted all their options to be laid out on the table, but finding clinical trials requires hours of research, organization, higher level of understanding the medical terms used, trying to determine if you might be eligible, etc.
Nick’s family is not the only one who found researching clinical trials to be difficult. Through day to day conversations about having this issue we found a recurring theme with multiple sclerosis. Multiple sclerosis (MS) is the most widespread disabling neurological condition of young adults around the world and like brain cancer there are zero cures and many of the people diagnosed try to look to clinical trials to alleviate their symptoms and potentially find a cure. However, MS clinical trials also show poor enrollment rates.
Ultimately what we learned is that:
That is how the concept of FastTrek was born. We wanted to reduce barriers for patients finding clinical trials, boost enrollment rate, and ultimately advance medicine.