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Panel discussion: setting the roadmap for optimizing cancer clinical trials

Available now ON DEMAND

Clinical trials have historically been the backbone of cancer research and over the past decade the oncology clinical trial landscape has progressed immensely, providing novel avenues for oncologists to find, prevent or treat cancer and its symptoms.

However, despite advancements many cancer trials fail in their early stages as there are unique hurdles that need to be addressed to achieve a successful trial outcome. In this panel discussion we will explore strategies to ensure diversity, inclusion and meaningful patient participation in clinical trials. Additionally, the panel will delve into solutions to overcome challenges associated with rapidly acquiring high-quality clinical trial data.

Register now to watch ON DEMANDWhat will you learn?Who may this interest?Panelists

What will you learn?

  • How to ensure you obtain high-quality clinical trial data
  • Strategies to increase patient diversity and inclusion in clinical trials
  • How COVID-19 has impacted the running of cancer clinical trials
  • Challenges in data acquisition and processing, as well as solutions to overcome named obstacles

Who may this interest?

  • Medical Oncologists
  • Surgical Oncologists
  • Clinical trial coordinators
  • Clinical trial investigators
  • Translational cancer researchers
  • Researchers/ scientists


Martin Lachs
Vice President Global Project Management
ICON plc (UK)

With over 28 years’ experience in clinical development, Martin has worked across a number of therapeutic areas whilst specializing in oncology. Martin has headed up ICON’s (UK) Oncology and Cell Therapeutics Project Management Group since 2012, lending operational and indication expertise across a group of over 240 international project management staff globally, dedicated to oncology and cell therapy drug development. Martin has worked in developing key oncology site networks in the US and the UK and in 2020 was a member of a clinical trial review panel for University of Sydney (Australia) affiliated hospitals.

Martin was at the heart of establishing ICON’s Cell Therapy service capabilities from 2016. Martin has a BSc in Biotechnology and after completing a PhD thesis (cell biology, breast cancer) at the University of Manchester (UK), Martin’s career has spanned laboratory research in large bio-pharma, clinical development in CROs and Imaging Core Labs. Martin has produced a number of position papers in the Pharmaceutical Press as well as hosting and presenting at numerous international events at scientific and pharma industry meetings. Recently the key focus of his publications has been thought leadership related to cell therapies in oncology.


Patty Spears
Cancer patient advocate
Translational Breast Cancer Research Consortium (NC, USA)

Spears is an over 20-year breast cancer survivor and cancer research patient advocate. She was diagnosed with locally advanced breast cancer at the age of 40 and after neoadjuvant chemotherapy, surgery and radiation therapy, she participated in a HER2 vaccine clinical trial. Spears has concentrated her advocacy on clinical trials and serves as an advocate on the Translational Breast Cancer Research Consortium (TBCRC). She has also been an advocate for the National Clinical Trials Network (NCTN) since 2008, and is currently an advocate for the Alliance for Clinical Trials in Oncology as Associate Group Chair for Advocacy, Chair of the Alliance Patient Advocate Committee and a member of the Breast Committee. She is also a member of several NCI Committees, including the Breast Cancer Steering Committee (BCSC), Investigational Drug Steering Committee (IDSC), and the Core Correlative Science Committee (CCSC).

Spears is currently working as a scientific research manager and patient advocate at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (NC, USA), Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center (NC, USA) where she leads the UNC Lineberger Patient Advocates for Research Council (PARC) and the UNC Breast SPORE Advocates. At UNC she focuses on communicating research to the public and facilitates the engagement of patient advocates with Lineberger researchers. She also has an interest in patient reported outcome measures (PROMs) in drug development and clinical trials.


Hyun Cheol Chung
Yonsei Song-Dang Institute for Cancer Research (Seoul, South Korea)

Chung is a Director of Yonsei Song-Dang Institute for Cancer Research in Yonsei University College of Medicine (Seoul, South Korea). He graduated from Yonsei University College of Medicine in 1982 and went on to Internal Medicine training and a fellowship at Yonsei Cancer Center. He then had a post-doctoral training as a Research Fellow at the Laboratory of Angiogenesis, Lombardi Cancer Center, Georgetown University School of Medicine (WA, USA). After finishing the fellowship training, he joined the Medical Oncology, Department of Internal Medicine, Yonsei Cancer Center, Yonsei University College of Medicine in 1994, and became the Pprofessor of Medical Oncology in 2004.

Chung has been the principal investigator for over 100 clinical trials and is actively involved with the Cancer Therapeutics Research Group (CTRG), a regional multi-institutional clinical trial group on gastric, colorectal, breast, lung, liver and other cancers. Chung is a foundation member of the Cancer Metastasis Research Center (CMRC) supported by the Korean Science and Engineering Foundation, Ministry of Science and Technology since 2000. Chung became a director of the National Biochip Research Center (NBRC), which is supported by the Ministry of Health and Welfare. His major research interest is angiomics and metastanomics in gastric and breast cancer.

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