Best Oncology CROs

An Oncology CRO is a contract research organisation specialising in conducting clinical trials for oncology indications.

Many such companies focus on a particular aspect of the therapeutic approval process: from pre-clinical proof-of-concept trials to small-dose-finding or more extensive phase 2 and phase 3 trials. 

The field of oncology routinely deals with life-threatening and complex diagnostic processes. Because of this, clinical trials in this speciality usually need to balance:

  • Complex patient recruitment processes, with precise exclusion criteria
  • The use of long-term surrogate endpoints
  • Rapid industry-wide shifts in the focus for anti-cancer therapies.

An experienced oncology CRO must therefore have thorough networks of physicians, consultants, and researchers capable of handling these protocols. In addition, familiarity with pharmacovigilance and post-marketing surveillance will help keep a new medication relevant.

Oncology Clinical Trials Market

As of 2019, clinical trials for an oncology indication accounted for the largest revenue share in the biopharmaceutical research indication. That same year, they required a combined budget of over 10 billion dollars, and the investment in Research and Development for new oncology treatments was expected to grow by 5.4% per year.

Significant investments, however, are accompanied by high uncertainty: less than 10% of all Phase I oncology products eventually reach the market. 

Some of the most important niches in the oncology clinical trials market include:

  • Phase II trials, which account for 45% of the total ongoing trials registered by the FDA.
  • Among these, the sector with the highest growth was that of interventional design trials.
  • Drug development is progressively moving from chemotherapy protocols to personalised, targeted agents and immunotherapy

Some of the most widely-researched cancer types include:

  • Leukaemia, especially for pediatric patients
  • Pancreatic cancer
  • Lung cancer
  • Breast cancer
  • Liver cancer
  • Skin Cancer
  • Lymphomas
  • Prostate cancers
  • Colon, rectal and digestive cancers

Why Outsource to an Oncology CRO?

As oncology clinical trials often deal with larger budgets, it makes sense for sponsors to want to secure this investment as best as possible. Yet, the specialised processes required for this type of trial make finding staff with direct experience increasingly difficult.

Working with a CRO that has specialised in oncology allows Sponsors the opportunity to:

  • Design better trial protocols that provide more relevant data for a specific condition
  • Implement more sophisticated monitoring techniques that have worked in similar trials
  • Predict patient recruitment numbers more accurately
  • Access pre-existing partnerships with patients associations and research universities
  • Approach a wider pool of experienced support staff

How to Choose the Right Oncology CRO?

Selecting a CRO for a large phase II or III trial is a long-term commitment, and it may be one of the determinant factors that define the trial’s outcome. Because of this, the decision should be approached rationally.

When evaluating possible partners for an oncology study, consider the following:

Expertise in the subspecialty

Perhaps the most crucial factor is to look at the CRO’s previous track record with oncology trials and the region in which they have already conducted trials. One of the cornerstones of protocol design is a deep understanding of the condition treated and of its current standard of care. 

Internal processes and systems

Each CRO has its preferred software and metrics that help them organise its trials and monitor its results. The ideal CRO should have enough experience to have developed its preferences – but with enough room to meet the client’s own way of doing things.

Data management practices

Data management is increasingly vital in the biopharmaceutical industry. Regulatory agencies have increased their standards when it comes to protecting patient’s data. At the same time, the ability to validate and audit data, even remotely, will ease the path towards a final marketing authorisation.

Top Oncology CROs

TrialTop’s database includes over ten international CROs with significant oncology experience. Some of the most prominent include:

United BioSource Corporation

Also known as UBC, United BioSource Corporation was founded in 2003. They currently have offices in the Eastern United States, the United Kingdom, and Switzerland.


As one of the leading CROs in the oncology nice, PSI runs clinical trials in over 50 countries worldwide. They are intensely focused on on-time project delivery and patient recruitment,

IQVIA Biotech

IQVIA Biotech offers a complete portfolio of clinical and research support services. They have extensive experience in orphan diseases, oncology, and metabolic indications,


With over 30 years in the industry, Eurofins is an international CRO based in France. Their research network encompasses over 50 countries. 


Built on a philosophy of adaptability and transparency, Dokumeds specialises in multi-site and multi-country coordination for clinical trials.