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Alliance Biospecimen Management System

The Alliance for Clinical Trials in Oncology is a national clinical trials network sponsored by the National Cancer Institute that consists of nearly 10,000 cancer specialists at hospitals, medical centers, and community clinics across the United States and Canada. The Alliance was formed in March 2011 by the merger of the American College of Surgeons Oncology Group (ACOSOG), Cancer and Leukemia Group B (CALGB), and North Central Cancer Treatment Group (NCCTG). The BMS will be used by all Alliance specimen collection sites to log, ship, and track specimens and it will integrate with specimen inventory managements systems at all Alliance repository sites.


Problem

The thousands of clinical research associates (CRA) at hundred of collection sites who are responsible for collecting biospecimens from Alliance clinical trial participants need accurate information about what specimens to collect, how and to whom to ship them according to the needs of the trial. Biospecimen repository sites need to what has been shipped and when, and how to process the shipped specimens. Study funders (NCI) need to know what has been collected by whom so that collection sites can be correctly reimbursed. Previously, collection, shipping, tracking, and biobanking activities were managed using multiple, diverse systems that did not interoperate, making it very difficult to address the needs of the Alliance community members.


Solution

The Alliance BMS provides a centralized tool to manage all collection and shipping activities for all collection sites. It integrates with clinical trial management systems to provide accurate, up-to-date information to CRAs. It integrates with biospecimen repository sites to provide real-time shipping and tracking information. It provides reporting capabilities to support payment and project control activities.

Features

  • Shipping and Tracking: A web-based interface that enables CRAs at collection sites to 1) log the collection of specimens patients according to the protocol definitions of the studies to which they are registered; 2) log shipment of specimens to biospecimen repositories according to the protocol definitions.
  • Admin and Study Setup: A web-based interface that is an extension of current caTissue functionality to enable definition of the specimen collection, shipping, and tracking aspects of studies.
  • Query and Reporting: A web-based interface that produces the same set of reports that is currently produced by the CALGB STS. Additional reports may be supported.
  • Single Sign-On: Integration into the CTEP IAM authentication system.

  • Clinical System Integration: Secure Web service interfaces to the BMS database that enable definition of study identifiers, patient registrations, organizations/institutions, study participants, and authorization policy.
  • Repository Site Integration: This component includes 1) a caTissue adapter module that will set information about the receipt of specimen shipments (and possibly other information, such as quality, quantity, and distribution) to the central Alliance BMS; 2) secure Web service interfaces to the BMS to accept the information sent from the caTissue adapter modules.
  • PCPA Integration: Secure Web service interfaces to the BMS database that enable the PCPA application to calculate collection site reimbursement amount – based primarily on receipt of specimen shipments.

Technology

BMS project is built using the latest Open Source technologies and tools. The main component of the BMS application is built on Grails – a rapid web application development technology leveraging the Groovy dynamic language. We also use the Spring framework, JBoss Hibernate, JQuery java script library, JSON, Geb, Selenium, Codenarc, Cobertura, JMeter, Apache ActiveMQ JMS Server, Sprint Tool Suite and Oracle Database.


Key Stakeholders

The Alliance for Clinical Trials in Oncology is a national clinical trials network sponsored by the National Cancer Institute that consists of nearly 10,000 cancer specialists at hospitals, medical centers, and community clinics across the United States and Canada.


Key Milestones

  • Version 1.0 is slated for release Oct. 1st 2012.