BACKGROUND: In 2015, the Italian Medicines Agency (Agenzia Italiana del Farmaco; AIFA) issued the Determination 809/2015 with new requirements for phase I clinical trials. Before it came into force, we explored the extent to which several Italian oncology centers were working to implement it.
METHODS: A survey was conducted among 80 Italian centers involved in clinical trials. Investigators and research coordinators were surveyed.
RESULTS: Answers from 42 institutions were collected: among them 88.1% were involved in oncology research. In the last 5 years, 55% had conducted from 1 to 5 phase I trials, and only 16.7% more than 5. A third were involved in not-first-in-human research and none with healthy volunteers. The majority (57.1%) of the centers did not run any projects and trials are non-commercial, and about 35%, no more than 2. While 9.5% already met the standards for self-certification, 71.4% were working to achieve them. Standard operating procedures dedicated to research and the required good clinical practice training had been established by 57.1% and 76.2%, respectively. Fifty percent of laboratories were almost compliant with the Determination. After 10 months from its coming into force, 98 sites had applied for certification, of which 34 were oncology units.
CONCLUSIONS: The new AIFA Determination imposes a certified organizational model on units and laboratories involved in phase I trials. Our results showed that great efforts were made to qualify for phase I research suggesting that other oncology units will apply for certification in the near future. Predictably, Italy will set the pace as a highly qualified country in which to conduct early-phase research.
- Clinical Trials, Phase I as Topic/methods
- Medical Oncology/methods
- Surveys and Questionnaires