Frequently asked questions

What is Oncoshot?

Oncoshot is a startup founded in Nov 2018, by a Medical Oncologist and Data Scientist, with the goal of providing cancer patients, caregivers and their Oncologists with personalised recommendations of clinical trials and curated news.
This FREE TO USE platform directly connects patients with trial sponsors and institutes to facilitate rapid trial enrollment.

Find out more about Oncoshot here: www.oncoshot.com/about

What is Oncoshot's mission?

Oncoshot's mission is to reduce the time to access of high value clinicals trials, for cancer patients, to zero.

Patients and caregivers access high value recommendations FOR FREE and data sharing with healthcare institutes and trials sponsors for clinical trials is PATIENT INITIATED AND PATIENT CONTROLLED.

Do I have to pay to use Oncoshot?

Patients and caregivers access high value recommendations FOR FREE.

What is Oncoshot's business model?

Patients initiate data sharing of their trial-specific matching scores and clinical data with trial centres and CROs to facilitate rapid online screening and early trial enrollment. Such shared data may be paid for by Industry partners who seek to engage with highly eligible patients. Further verification for eligibility is then undertaken between industry partners and patients before eventual trial enrollment.
Oncoshot is never paid a bounty for enrolling a patient into a trial.

How is Oncoshot different from other Cancer Trial matching platforms?

1. We are focused on providing ONLY high value information for the benefit of cancer patients and Oncologists. Oncology as a complex condition and we believe that solving the problem of rapid trial identification and enrollment can only be achieved with a team that has expertise in this field and that is focused on solving the problem of access to cancer trials alone.

2. We rank trials based on eligibility criteria-based matching scores and allow for filters based on specific strategies that are employed in cancer care- such as precision medicine, immunotherapy and combinations, and locoregional therapies.

Is what Oncoshot is doing legal?

Yes, it is. We constantly work with our legal experts to ensure that we operate within the boundaries of all the laws and regulations that apply to our business. We have been cleared by Singapore's Health Services Authority (HSA) to function as a clinical trail matching digital health platform.

How do I know that Oncoshot is a legitimate business?

Oncoshot is registered in Singapore and is recognised by the Singapore government's Ministry of Health (MOH) and Health Services Authority (HSA) as a digital health company.

What is Oncoshot's Privacy Policy?

Our commitment to privacy and security is uncompromising. Please read our Privacy Policy

Do I have control over my personal and health data on Oncoshot?

Yes. We work on the principle of data-sharing of clinical information being PATIENT-INITIATED AND PATIENT-CONTROLLED.

Why does Oncoshot ask for my personal information such as age and location?

We ask for this personal information to help us find suitable treatment options in our Clinical Trial database.

Who has access to my personal data?

During your initial consult, a member of our medical team might ask for additional information to help determine your treatment options. We treat your information as highly confidential and no data will be saved and/or recorded without your express consent.

Will my patient information be collected?

Oncoshot will not have access to your patient records kept by your treating physician.

However, under certain circumstances, we will collect and process your medical information when this is required and necessary for Oncoshot's medical team to provide you with optimal service, but only after you have expressly given us permission to do so. Your medical information will be stored in a protected and secure IT-system only accessible to Oncoshot’s team members that are providing support.

What is a Clinical Trial?

"A clinical trial is a scientific study of how a new medicine or treatment works in people. Through clinical trials, doctors find new and better ways to prevent, detect, diagnose, control, and treat illnesses.
Participating in a Clinical Trial can enable patients to be treated with a medicine before it is approved. There is, however, no guarantee that a medicine which is still in clinical development will improve a patient's condition.

Please read more about clinical trials here (link to blogpost)"

How is the safety of the participant protected?

The ethical and legal codes that govern medical practice also apply to clinical trials. In addition, most clinical research is federally regulated with built in safeguards to protect the participants. The trial follows a carefully controlled protocol, a study plan which details what researchers will do in the study. As a clinical trial progresses, researchers report the results of the trial at scientific meetings, to medical journals, and to various government agencies. Individual participants' names are kept confidential and are never mentioned in reports.

What is informed consent?

Informed consent is the process of learning the key facts about a clinical trial before deciding whether or not to participate. It is also a continuing process throughout the study to provide information for participants. To help someone decide whether or not to participate, the doctors and nurses involved in the trial explain the details of the study. If the participant's native language is not English, translation assistance can be provided. The research team provides an informed consent document that includes details about the study, such as its purpose, duration, required procedures, and key contacts. Risks and potential benefits are also explained in the informed consent document. The participant then decides whether or not to sign the document. Informed consent is not a contract, and the participant may withdraw from the trial at any time.

Please note that the provision of informed consent is eventually undertaken with your trial sponsor and not Oncoshot.

Who sponsors clinical trials?

Clinical trials are sponsored or funded by a variety of organizations or individuals such as physicians, medical institutions, foundations, voluntary groups, and pharmaceutical companies. In addition, governmental agencies across the world, such as the National Institutes of Health (NIH), also sponsor clinical trials. Trials can take place in a variety of locations, such as hospitals, universities, doctors' offices, or community clinics.

Does a participant continue to work with a primary health care provider while in a trial?

Yes. Most clinical trials provide short-term treatments related to a designated illness or condition, but do not provide extended or complete primary health care. In addition, by having the primary health care provider coordinate with the research team, the participant can ensure that other medications or treatments will not conflict with the protocol.

When is the best time to search for clinical trials?

The best time to search for clinical trials is when you review your treatment options.

Who is responsible for the costs of care for people taking part in a clinical trial?

The costs of care for people participating in a clinical trial fall into two general categories:
1) routine care costs and 2) research costs.

What are routine care costs?

Routine care costs are costs associated with treating a person’s diagnosis whether or not they are in a trial. In the United States, these costs are usually covered by health insurance, but requirements vary by state and type of health plan. Many states require that insurance companies cover the costs of routine care for people taking part in a clinical trial. In other states, voluntary agreements between the states and insurance companies include such a provision. However, coverage varies by state, by health insurance plan, and by type of clinical trial.

There are differences in routine costs across countries depending on the specific healthcare delivery model.

What are research care costs?

Research costs are costs associated with conducting a clinical trial; these costs may include the costs of extra doctor visits, extra tests, and procedures that are required for the trial but would not be part of routine care. Research costs are usually covered by the organization that sponsors the trial.

Are Clinical Trials only an option for people who have exhausted all treatment?

No. Participating in a Clinical Trial for cancer is generally possible in every stage of treatment as is a recommendation under guidelines such as the NCCN (National Cancer Care Network) that clinical trials be considered for all stages in cancer care. However, all Clinical Trials have inclusion and exclusion criteria that a patient needs to meet in order to participate.

What are Inclusion/Exclusion Criteria?

In order to participate in a particular Clinical Trial, you must meet its requirements for numerous factors like age, gender, medical history, and current health status. These eligibility inclusion or exclusion criteria are in place to make sure that the study is performed on the right people and produces accurate results.

Are there important differences between Clinical Trials in cancer compared to other diseases?

Most principles in the conduct of trials hold true between cancer and non-cancer trials. However, it is worthwhile to highlight that placebos are generally only used when there are no available standard options. Phase II and III trials in the setting of existing therapies always compare newer therapies with an existing standard option when there is one available.

Am I just a 'human guinea pig' in a clinical trial?

No. New tests or treatments are studied in clinical trials when there is basic research to support that they may at least be as good as standard care. Clinical trials also must be carried out according to principles that protect the safety and welfare of patients. Furthermore, patients enrolled in clinical trials receive the best management of care.

Do I have to finish a clinical trial?

No. You can drop out at any time for any reason.

Am I told everything about a trial before starting?

Yes. The informed consent form must describe the study in full, including:
  • The trial's purpose,
  • What's required of you,
  • The risks and benefits,
  • Protection of your privacy,
  • Coverage of costs, and
  • Other options for care.
After you start the clinical trial, the research team must tell you about any new information that is related to the clinical trial.

Is a clinical trial only for when there are no other options?

No. A clinical trial is an option for many patients with different types and stages of cancer.

Can only patients with advanced cancer join a clinical trial?

No. A clinical trial is an option for many patients with different types and stages of cancer.

What is randomization?

Randomization means assigning patients by chance to a treatment group. The chance of being assigned to one of two groups is like whether a baby is a boy or a girl. The odds for a boy are the same as for a girl—50/50. Randomization ensures that the people in all groups are alike. Phase III clinical trials often use randomization.

What is clinical equipoise?

Clinical equipoise is the uncertainty of which treatment is better. This is the ethical basis for randomization in clinical trials.

What is a placebo?

A placebo is an inactive medicine. People do not get better from the properties of a placebo.

What is the placebo effect?

The placebo effect is a positive response after taking a placebo. The positive response is mostly likely caused by a person's faith in the treatment.

How often are placebos used in cancer clinical trials?

Almost never. Placebos are used when there is no standard of care to which the new treatment can be compared. You will be told if a placebo is used in a clinical trial.

Can I know which treatment I am getting?

In 'blinded' trials, you may find out about your treatment only after the clinical trial is over. During the trial, you are "blinded" so your results won't be affected by bias.

What costs do I have to pay for in a clinical trial?

It depends on the clinical trial, your health insurance, and the country or state you live in. It is important to learn what costs of care, if any, you must pay for during a clinical trial. Your treatment team and the research team can help.

What happens to me when the clinical trial is over?

You will continue to receive care from your treatment team. You may be able to stay on the study drug but this doesn't happen often.

How is Oncoshot's trial search different from other clinical trial search engines?

Given our focus only on cancer trials, Oncoshot is able to restructure each treatment or intervention related trial into its core aspects. We have spent thousands of hours with Oncologist supported technologies to clean up trial eligibility criteria into its key elements. With this is place, Oncoshot is able to match patient details with trial eligibility criteria.

Oncoshot's methodology filters irrelevant trials that current diagnosis and stage limited matching engines are unable to filter."

Is the matching algorithm on Oncoshot unique?

Yes. Our matching algorithm is patent pending

From which sources does the trial data in Oncoshot come from?

Collecting and combining data is at the heart of the Oncoshot platform. We currently collect data from global public registries for Clinical Trials such as Clinicaltrials.gov. We will be updating the database with trials from other regions such as the EU, Canada, Australia, India and China.

How does Oncoshot process public data to show on its platform?

Given the vast amount of data and sources available, we do not claim to be conclusive. However, we do our best to process as much relevant data as possible to make medical data structured and understandable. Given the focus on therapeutic trials currently, only therapeutic trials will be restructured and available for recommendation on our matching engine. You can, however, still view all available trials available for your diagnosis in our broad listing - similar results which are available on most generic trial search platforms.

How recent is the information listed on Oncoshot?

We update our database every day to make sure that it accurately lists all the Clinical Trials for cancer.Please note that we only show you the active Clinical Trials that might be suitable treatment options for you based on the information you have provided to us.

How can I find a trial that I can participate in?

When you use the Oncoshot platform to search for a trial that matches your condition, we ask you to give us some basic information about yourself, including your age and location and specific questions about your condition. Our search engine will then match this information with the Clinical Trial’s listed inclusion/exclusion criteria that a patient should meet. Based on the information you have provided, our search engine will show Clinical Trials that might be suitable for you.

What can I do if I am unable to answer the questions required accurately?

You can contact the Oncoshot support desk to answer any questions about the search results. With your permission, our experienced support staff will review your medical details to extract the information to facilitate trial search

Do you charge a fee for using the support staff?

"We do not charge a fee for simple clarification and assistance on how to answer the questionnaire. We do, however, charge a one time fee of USD 99.90 for individuals who require assistance to review the full details of medical records and to fill up the short questionnaire.

This is a reasonable fee given the time it requires for an experienced Oncologist to read through the details of your medical history. You may alternatively, enlist the assist of your own Oncologist to assist you with completing the questionnaire.

Are there other alternatives by which i can get assistance to fill up the questionnaire?

You could consider the possibility of bringing the short questionnaire to your treating Oncologist. He or she should be able to provide the most relevant clinical information within a few short minutes.

Will searching for trials on Oncoshot create problems between me and my Oncologist?

Not at all. We are not a service that aim to replace your personal Oncologist.

The current landscape for cancer trials is rapidly increasing in complexity and it is becoming an increasing challenge for Oncologists to keep track of new trials that are being opened outside their area of practice. We aim to provide you with highly valuable information on available trials which you can now bring to your oncologist and discuss about. Sharing features within our platform allow you to directly print out or email the list of shortlisted trials for further discussion with your oncologist before you decide to connect with trial contacts.

Should i immediately connect with a trial contact person when it is recommended by Oncoshot?

We generally recommend that the list of shortlisted trials be discussed between both patient and their treating Oncologist. With the support of your Oncologist, you may be able to identify certain issues with your self created profile that may require further adjustment and a repeat search.

Does Oncoshot provide information on Early Access Program?

Our current focus is on enhancing the matching capabilities of Oncoshot and facilitating rapid trial enrolment. Early Access Program are aspects of care which we hope to pursue in the near future.