Mayo Clinic boosts clinical trial enrollment by 80% with IBM's Watson

Mayo Clinic has seen an 80 percent increase in enrollment for breast cancer clinical trials following the implementation of IBM’s Watson to improve clinical trial matching.

Currently only 5 percent of cancer patients participate in clinical trials. In response, Mayo Clinic implemented IBM’s cognitive computing system to identify and enroll patients in breast cancer trials.

“Novel solutions are necessary to address this unmet clinical need, advance cancer research and treatments, and, in turn, improve the health outcomes of patients,” said Tufia Haddad, MD, a Mayo Clinic oncologist and physician leader for the Watson for Clinical Trial Matching project.

Watson for Clinical Trials Matching identified patients and accurately matched them to appropriate trials. After 11 months of use, Mayo Clinic reported an 80 percent increase in enrollment of systemic therapy clinical trials for breast cancer. Following the increase in enrollment, the organizations have also announced an agreement to expand training and use of the system to include additional cancer types.

“This has enabled all patients to be screened for all available clinical trial opportunities,” Haddad said. “The speed and accuracy of Watson and the team of screening coordinators allow our physicians to efficiently develop treatment plans for patients that reflect the full range of options available to support their care.”