(P136) Uniting Publication Database Functions Across Three Existing Complex Organizations

April 15, 2014
Volume 28, Issue 1S

NRG Oncology is a member of the National Cancer Institute (NCI) National Clinical Trials Network program and was created by the integration of three adult cooperative groups: the National Surgical Adjuvant Breast and Bowel Project (NSABP), the Radiation Therapy Oncology Group (RTOG), and the Gynecologic Oncology Group (GOG). The Publications Working Group, has begun the amalgamation of three publications databases into one to track progress in manuscript development and to provide access to a comprehensive bibliography that incorporates the past/current research of all three legacy groups.

John Blessing, PhD, Sally Bialy, MA, William Elgie, MBA, Barbara Good, PhD, Maria Werner-Wasik, MD, Frederick Stehman, MD; NRG Oncology Statistical and Data Management Center; NRG Oncology Operations Center; Jefferson University Hospital; Indiana University School of Medicine

NRG Oncology is a member of the National Cancer Institute (NCI) National Clinical Trials Network program and was created by the integration of three adult cooperative groups: the National Surgical Adjuvant Breast and Bowel Project (NSABP), the Radiation Therapy Oncology Group (RTOG), and the Gynecologic Oncology Group (GOG). These legacy groups each have a rich history of conducting meaningful, scientifically valid clinical trials. The harmonization of similar yet different procedures is a daunting task. To provide a focused approach to the evaluation of individual approaches and retention/modification of best practices, specific working groups were formed in a diverse number of different administrative and clinical areas. One group, the Publications Working Group, has begun the amalgamation of three publications databases into one to track progress in manuscript development and to provide access to a comprehensive bibliography that incorporates the past/current research of all three legacy groups.NRG Oncology stresses the importance of timely and accurate publication of results of clinical trials, and each of the legacy groups has an excellent track record. Cumulatively, we have published over 5,000 abstracts and manuscripts in peer-reviewed journals spanning 5+ decades. As NRG Oncology moves forward, it is critical that results of past/current research be available to all members. Also, the groups have experienced continued growth in the number and complexity of publications in development, requiring sophisticated administrative oversight to ensure that NCI and NRG Oncology deadlines are efficiently assigned, monitored, enforced, and ultimately met. The adoption of a common database is vital to these objectives.

Existing legacy group publications databases were assessed during webinar/conference calls. Once a potential “best database” was identified, information technology (IT) resources were made available. To provide a hands-on opportunity to evaluate the proposed system, an electronic “sandbox” was created, allowing the working group access to a trial version of the database via website. IT staff created the sandbox within an isolated portion of the Statistical and Data Center private cloud, running VMware vSphere version 5.1–5.5. Within 24 hours, the server was deployed with the necessary software and configuration, the IT staff fully tested all processes, and user accounts were created. The underlying software is written in Microsoft .Net/C#, reports are generated by Crystal Reports, and access to a relational database management system is via ADO.NET. This sandbox allowed participants to gain experience utilizing the various features and provide feedback for desired modifications. As a result, the NRG Oncology Publications Database was endorsed within 1 month of initial discussion.

The combining of data from the original three legacy group publications databases is now under way. The IT architecture provides a comprehensive bibliographic format and methodology to download data from legacy group bibliographies; a search engine to seek publication information by selected criteria, including publication type, protocol number, author, year, disease site, keyword or phrase, date range, or publication ID; electronic links to PubMed and/or journals; and a publications management tool that tracks deadlines and completion for various stages of manuscript development. Details of the database and examples of its use will be presented.