Investigating Trends in Industry vs. Institutional Studies

Dr. Wendy Tate
Director, Research Operations, Forte
March 19th, 2019

Late last year, Forte published the Cancer Center Benchmarks Report, an analysis of key data trends affecting cancer centers. While cancer centers may have an idea of their individual performances, this report took on the bigger question of how cancer centers are performing as a whole.

This year, we’ve released a companion report, “Investigating Trends in Industry vs. Institutional Studies“, which examines the performance of non-cancer center research institutions. Using Forte Benchmarks, an award-winning comparative analytics tool, the report analyzes data from 28 research organizations across the country from 2013-2017. The report analyzes aggregate data for open protocol and accrual numbers, research portfolio composition, zero-accruing studies and sponsor metrics. We examined the data and identified some key similarities and differences in performance between cancer centers and their non-cancer counterparts.

Similarity: Prioritizing Institutional Studies

Overall, data trends analyzed in both reports demonstrated research institutions’ continued dedication and prioritization of their own institutional studies over industry and other types of studies in their research portfolio. Since grant funding is largely based on an organization’s own institutional research, this focus is crucial to success.

Over the last five years, the proportion of industry studies at organizations has gone up, potentially due to less federal funding available. However, the percentage of research portfolios dedicated to institutional studies has remained the same, indicating that while priorities are shifting, they are not shifting away from institutional research.

Accrual data also points to a continued dedication to institutional research. Accruals per organization have been on the rise for both industry and institutional studies. Average accrual per protocol is also higher for institutional trials, emphasizing the importance of an organization’s own science.

Difference: Zero-Accruing Studies

In the non-cancer setting, a lot of studies close as zero-accruing, across both industry and institutional protocols. While zero-accruing studies due to lack of feasibility analysis or low-accrual monitoring can also be common in cancer centers, the zero-accrual numbers for non-cancer centers are higher than those of their cancer center counterparts.

Additionally, non-cancer research organizations are holding zero-accruing studies open significantly longer than cancer centers. Just over half of zero-accruing industry protocols are being closed within 12 months, but that means that almost half are continuing to use resources with no accruals.

See More Key Trends

When organizations are discussing common challenges in clinical research and considering potential solutions, it’s important to know how the industry is performing as a whole and how an individual institution stacks up. Knowing your current status in comparison with your peers is the first step toward improvement. Download the full report and see the data for yourself here.

Are you ready to see how your institution compares on key performance metrics? OnCore customers can use Benchmarks at no cost, join relevant community comparison groups and add their center’s anonymized data to the aggregate to see how their performance measures up. Learn more about Forte Benchmarks.