News Brief

Medidata Presents Two Compelling New Studies Exploring COVID-19, Vitamin D Deficiency and Oncology Trial Enrollment Trends at 2021 ASCO Annual Meeting

June 4, 2021

Medidata, a Dassault Systèmes company, announced the online publication of two abstracts at the American Society for Clinical Oncology (ASCO) 2021 Annual Meeting, being held virtually June 4 – 8. The Medidata Acorn AI team is presenting two studies, both focused on how COVID-19 has impacted oncology, during poster sessions on Friday, June 4, at 9:00 a.m. EDT.

“The impact of COVID-19 on cancer patients and cancer research was profound,” said Sastry Chilukuri, president, Acorn AI, Medidata. “At Medidata, we feel privileged to have the unparalleled data, tools and expertise needed to draw meaningful insights and help improve patients’ lived experiences and outcomes. These two studies are perfect examples of how we’re using our data and network capabilities to drive oncology care forward at a critical inflection point for patients and the industry.”

The first study being presented (#1565), “Oncology trial enrollment trends following the first wave of the COVID-19 Pandemic,” compared oncology clinical trial enrollment rates during the first, second and third waves of the pandemic. The study results demonstrated that, despite the initial sharp decline in global patient enrollment in oncology trials during the first wave of COVID, there was a substantial rebound in enrollment throughout the remainder of 2020 even as  the global incidence of COVID-19 increased more than twenty fold.

It was reported previously that the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic was associated with a negative effect on global oncology clinical research and development, including documented decreases in new trial launches and patient enrollment in existing trials. The research being presented at this year’s Meeting builds upon Medidata Acorn AI research published in JAMA Network Open in January 2021, which found a 60 percent decrease in new clinical trials for cancer drugs and biological therapies between January and May 2020. Now, Medidata Acorn AI is pushing the conversation forward again with these most recent findings of a robust rebound in oncology trial enrollment during the remainder of 2020. Future research seeks to understand the mechanisms through which the oncology research and development enterprise adapted to the shock of the COVID-19 pandemic with alacrity and force with the goal of advancing research operations in the post-pandemic period.

The second study being presented (#6589), “Assessment of Vitamin D deficiency and COVID-19 diagnosis in patients with breast or prostate cancer using Electronic Medical Records,” conducted in partnership with Dr. David Fajgenbaum, assistant professor of Medicine and founding director of the Center for Cytokine Storm Treatment & Laboratory at the University of Pennsylvania, assessed whether vitamin D deficiency (less than 20 ng/ml) affects COVID-19 risk among patients with breast or prostate cancer. While patients with cancer are known to be at increased risk of infection in part due to the immunocompromising nature of cancer treatments, the study findings suggest that patients with breast or prostate cancer may have an elevated risk of COVID-19 infection if also vitamin D deficient.

This research contributes an oncology-specific perspective to an ongoing scientific conversation regarding the relationship between COVID-19 and vitamin D. Recently, a study, published in JAMA Network Open found that the risk of testing positive for COVID-19 was significantly greater for patients with likely deficient vitamin D status. Now, Medidata’s research underscores the importance of monitoring vitamin D levels across and within cancer populations specifically, particularly amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Medidata Acorn AI, leverages the company’s rich, regulatory grade clinical data, machine learning and AI capabilities, and pharmaceutical product development expertise to drive value for the life sciences community. Built upon the Medidata platform, comprising 23,000+ trials and more than seven million patients across more than 100 countries, Acorn AI products feature the industry’s largest structured, standardized clinical trial data repository connected with real world, translational, and other datasets. To learn more about Medidata Acorn AI’s unique solutions you can visit the Medidata ASCO 2021 webpage, visit the booth or schedule a meeting with a Medidata Acorn AI expert.

For more information, contact Paul Oestreicher, External Relations Director,