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Acclaimed organization calls for overhaul of clinical trials program
The Institute of Medicine (IOM) is calling for a complete overhaul of the National Cancer Institute’s Clinical Trials Cooperative Group Program, saying that there are plenty of reasons to believe that "the program is falling short of its potential to conduct the timely, large-scale, innovative trials needed to improve patient care." If the program doesn't become leaner and more effective, the IOM believes that "improved treatments for cancer will be delayed and patient lives will be lost."
The report, A National Cancer Clinical Trials System for the 21st Century: Reinvigorating the NCI Cooperative Group Program, itemizes four ways to re-energize the program:
- Improve the speed, efficiency of the design, launch and conduct of clinical trials.
- Improve selection, prioritization, support and completion of clinical trials.
- Encourage expanded participation by both patients and physicians.
- Make the best use of scientific innovations.
Calling the Clinical Trials Cooperative Group Program "the jewel of our nation’s cancer research system" and saying that most of what is known about cancer treatment derives from this program, the former president of the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) released a statement on behalf of the ASCO fully supporting the IOM.