BETHESDA, MdTo increase the number of cancer patients participating in phase III clinical trials, the National Cancer Institute has created the Expanded Participation Project (EPP). This pilot program encourages qualified oncologists outside of the 12 NCI-sponsored Cooperative Groups to enter patients into large clinical studies organized by groups.
Under EPP, qualified oncologists can enter patients in 16 large clinical trials for breast, lung, prostate, and colorectal cancer. Other phase III trials will be opened up to EPP participating physicians later this year.
The program offers a simplified, Internet-based process for enrolling patients and a direct reimbursement of $1,500 per patient to physicians to cover their research-related time and costs.
NCI expects EPP to become a national program that will significantly reduce the time it takes to accrue the hundreds or thousands of patients necessary for phase III studies. Additional information is available on the EPP website located at http://light.emmes.com/epp