News Release

Monday, June 18, 2012
Media Contact: Elizabeth Laur, (414) 276-2145,
MDS Press Room: Convention Centre Dublin, Wicklow Meeting Room 2b, Level 2

Note to media: See abstract 366

New Web-based trial matching tool connects volunteers with research

DUBLIN – A study titled “Fox Trial Finder (FTF): Online clinical trial matching to connect subjects with Parkinson's trials” reporting the success of a new online trial matching tool for volunteers with Parkinson’s disease (PD) was presented today at The Movement Disorder Society’s 16th International Congress of Parkinson’s Disease and Movement Disorders.

The project, led by Mark Frasier, PhD, of New York, had two objectives: first, to provide Parkinson’s disease patients and control subjects with a way to identify and connect to trials they may qualify for, and second, to provide coordinators with qualified leads and a way to connect with potential subjects for trials. Since the greatest obstacle to timely recruitment is access to information that connects volunteer patients and trial coordinators, there is a need for an improved Web-based database for matches.

The resulting Fox Trial Finder (FTF) used improved online technology to connect trial teams with subjects based on key traits including medications, location and Hoehn and Yahr stage. The system alerts volunteers when new trials begin that they may match. Since the launch of FTF in July 2011, 2000 volunteers had registered ready to be matched to 107 trials posted on the site. Although there is no formal way to measure matches, Frasier’s group is aware of 19 anecdotal reports of matches made through FTF.

Werner Poewe, MD, of The Innsbruck Medical University, Department of Neurology, states, “It is the first attempt (to my knowledge) to do the obvious in the Facebook age and develop an Internet platform for linking clinical trial coordinators with patients potentially eligible and interested in participating. It also is a unique opportunity for patients, caregivers and the PD community to bring themselves up to date which trials are ongoing at which sites and what new interventions are being developed for PD.

This should not only enhance recruitment for trials but also improve transparency and flow of information. The only concern one might have is related to a new type of selection bias for subjects entering clinical trials that could rise from a platform like this: potentially fewer elderly as compared to younger patients might become users here.”

About the 16th International Congress of Parkinson's Disease and Movement Disorders
Meeting attendees are gathered to learn the latest research findings and state-of-the-art treatment options in Movement Disorders, including Parkinson's disease. More than 4,500 physicians and medical professionals from 80 countries will be able to view over 1,600 scientific abstracts submitted by clinicians from around the world.

About The Movement Disorder Society
The Movement Disorder Society, an international society of over 3,500 clinicians, scientists, and other healthcare professionals, is dedicated to improving patient care through education and research. For more information about The Movement Disorder Society, visit