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The COVID-19 pandemic has led to a range of novel and adaptive research designs. In this perspective, we use our experience coordinating the National COVID Cancer Antibody Survey to demonstrate how a balance between speed and integrity can be achieved within a hyper-accelerated study design. Using the COVID-19 pandemic as an example, we show this approach is necessary in the face of uncertain and evolving situations wherein reliable information is needed in a timely fashion to guide policy. We identify streamlined participant involvement, healthcare systems integration, data architecture and real-world real-time analytics as key areas that differentiate this design from traditional cancer trials, and enable rapid results. Caution needs to be taken to avoid the exclusion of patient subgroups without digital access or literacy. We summarise the merits and defining features of hyper-accelerated cancer studies.

Original publication




Journal article


British journal of cancer

Publication Date





1977 - 1980


Cancer Institute, University College London, London, WC1E 6DD, UK.


Humans, Neoplasms, Immunoglobulins, Delivery of Health Care, Pandemics, COVID-19