Researchers get a jump on NCI trials group revamp

A rebel cell of cancer research organizations began doing the bidding of the National Cancer Institute even before NCI had articulated its clinical trial revamp plan. The American College of Surgeons Oncology Group, the Cancer and Leukemia Group B, and the North Central Cancer Treatment Group decided in early 2010 to integrate their statistical and data management functions.

The NCI plan calls for consolidating nine existing groups within its Clinical Trials Cooperative Group Program; its target is just four groups. The plan evolved in response to an Institute of Medicine study that found the 55-year-old program in need of a major overhaul. Among the IOM recommendations: consolidate common back-end activities--site audits, data capture and case reports.

The three research organizations had previously developed an integration plan for their own scientific and business reasons. The centralization and coordination of statistical and data management is now complete, according to Internal Medicine News. And the reach of these three organizations extends to the Mayo Clinic, Duke University, the University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center and Ohio State University.

In light of the IOM findings and NCI plan, the triumvirate has agreed to further scientific and operations integration. Their aim is to seek NCI funding as a single group, in line with the institute's plan, by autumn 2012.

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