We know that clinical trials can offer patients access to new treatment interventions that may provide a better outcome, fewer toxicities and an improved quality of life, and these new treatment opportunities offered in clinical trials are often otherwise not available to the general public.

The majority of clinical trial units are located within metropolitan areas, and many patients who live in regional, rural, and remote parts of the country are finding it challenging to participate in available clinical trials due to the impact it has on their time, work commitments, the cost associated with travelling to clinical trials sites and the social disruption to the patient and their family. Telehealth has enabled patients living in regional, rural and remote areas to access specialist health care closer to home.

The pilot of the Australasian Teletrial Model, led by Queensland Health and the Clinical Oncology Society of Australia (COSA) successfully demonstrated how tele-health models could be extended to the conduct of clinical trials, known as teletrials. COSA developed the Australasian TeleTrial Model in consultation with clinical trial sponsors, clinicians, health administrators and regulatory bodies.

The implementation of the teletrial model has the potential to enhance clinical trial access to regional, rural and remote cancer patients, reducing the barriers and disparity in access, whilst at the same time ensuring the proper conduct of cancer clinical trials.

What is a Teletrial?

A teletrial is a clinical trial that is delivered closer to where patients live, which is of particular benefit for regional, rural and remote patients. It includes groups of clinical trials sites that work together under the supervision of a lead clinician (The Australian Teletrial Program). Teletrials use telehealth technology to enable clinical trials to be conducted across a cluster of clinical trial sites, consisting of a primary site and one or more satellite sites. Some or all of the clinical trial requirements will be conducted at the satellite site, depending on each site’s capacity and capability.

Images taken from Clinical Oncology Society of Australia,  “Australasian Teletrial Model, Access to Clinical Trials Closer to Home Using TeleHealth, A National Guide For Implementation”, Version 7.0, dated 19 September 2016 (pages 3 & 11).
Further Information and resources about teletrials can be found here:
What support is available to teletrial sites?

Under the Australian Teletrial Program, Regional Clinical Trial Coordinating Centre (RCCC) teams have been established to provide state-based support. You can contact your local RCCC teletrial team here: