The chairpersons of six National Cancer Institute (NCI)-sponsored cooperative groups have announced the formation of a new entity called the Coalition of National Cancer Cooperative Groups, Inc. The coalition was formed to establish a common platform upon which the cooperative groups can operate, while remaining complementary to the work already being performed within the existing NCI structure.
The goals of the new coalition are:
- To ensure a continued opportunity for cancer patients to receive their care in clinical trials
- To enhance patient access and accrual to clinical cancer trials and work to ensure payment of patient care costs associated with such trials
- To enhance and expand clinical trial management to improve prevention, symptom management, and therapeutic treatment of cancer
- To generate health outcomes data that can help further science and improve patient treatment
- To work more closely on trials with the international cancer community
- To increase nonfederal funding and establish the scientific, administrative, and legal structure to contract with industry in trials that require the resources of coalition members
The coalition will provide opportunities for the cooperative groups to work together and build on each others strengths, said Robert L Comis, md, president of the Board of Directors of the Coalition and Chair of the Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group (ECOG). By combining efforts we can accomplish far more than any individual group has to date in these areas.
The founding members of the coalition consist of the foundations associated with the Cancer and Leukemia Group B (CALGB), the Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group (ECOG), the National Surgical Adjuvant Breast and Bowel Project (NSABP), the North-Central Cancer Treatment Group (NCCTG), the Pediatric Oncology Group (POG), and the Radiation Therapy Oncology Group (RTOG). The chairs of these groups will serve as the Board of Directors for the coalition. For more information on the coalition and membership, call (215) 893-6440.