The UC Cancer Institute’s Clinical Trials Office has been selected to receive financial support from the National Cancer Institute’s (NCI) National Clinical Trials Network (NCTN) for being a high performing site.
The institute has been awarded a one-time payment of $73,600 for infrastructure support in 2017. The level of funding provided is based on the site’s overall national clinical trials participation, evidence of integration activities (the merging research and clinical care) and data quality within the NCTN Program. This is the second year in a row that UC has been awarded additional funding for its cooperative group work.
“This award from an established cooperative group highlights the excellent work that the Cancer Clinical Trials Organization (CTO) has been conducting over the past couple of years,” says Thomas Herzog, MD, clinical director of the UC Cancer Institute, professor in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at the UC College of Medicine and UC Health gynecologic oncologist. “Our enrollment and our portfolio of sophisticated and unique trials is at a historical high point, and the future is very promising for continued growth and excellence in offering our patients the most innovative and promising novel cancer treatments in this region.”
Clinical research trials are studies involving human subjects. Before a drug or treatment protocol is tested widely, it goes through years of testing in cells, tissue culture and pre-clinical animal models. The process is closely regulated by the government and monitored by UC’s Institutional Review Board.
The UC Cancer Institute’s Clinical Trials Office manages oncology trials for all of the UC College of Medicine’s clinical departments. The office is organized by disease-specific areas, such as brain, breast, lung cancers and others. It is also a member site of the NCTN.
The NCTN was formed to focus on exploring targeted therapies, which necessitate screening large numbers of patients with both the same and different tumor types to identify those patients whose tumors contain the molecular targets of the therapies being tested. It helps in meeting those large quotas through centralization and streamlining of many critical functions throughout all member sites, like tissue banking, ethics approvals and imaging support.
Guided by recommendations in a 2010 Institute of Medicine report, the design and implementation of the NCTN incorporates feedback from cooperative group investigators—like UC—NCI Comprehensive Cancer Center directors, several NCI working groups, of which UC researchers take part, leading cancer researchers, industry representatives and patient advocates.