The Jefferson Cancer Network of Thomas Jefferson Universitys
Kimmel Cancer Center recently established a cooperative program known
as the Jefferson Oncology Group among its members. The purpose of
this new cooperative program is to enhance clinical and translational
cancer research and, in particular, the development of clinical
trials. In establishing this program, the Jefferson Cancer Network
"created an infrastructure that will expand both clinical and
"We want the best opportunity to create a mechanism in which
clinical trials can be conducted as a true partnership among network
members," said Walter Curran, Jr., MD, professor and chair of
radiation oncology and clinical director of the Kimmel Cancer Center
and the Jefferson Oncology Group.
Linking Clinical and Translational Research
Several multi-institution, national cooperative groups currently
exist to conduct clinical trials, and "most people feel that
research must be national to be conclusive." "We think we
now have the capability to conduct conclusive trials on our own,"
Dr. Curran said. "The research centers at Kimmel Cancer Center
and at Lankanau Medical Research Center can link the 20,000 patients
diagnosed with cancer in our network with the basic science at these
sites for translational research. We also have the appropriate
infrastructure and technology in place to compete for funding for
clinical trials from the National Cancer Institute and the American
"Previously, each Jefferson Cancer Network member had to
independently participate in a trial. Now, we can go collectively
with an idea, say for treating metastatic breast cancer, and obtain
support to conduct trials collectively," explained Dr. Curran.
In addition, the establishment of the Jefferson Oncology Group will
enhance communication among member institutions and community
physicians. Trials will be overseen by a single, centralized
institutional review board.