By Carrie Capili, Communications Specialist, Editor
Imaging plays an important role in clinical cancer care, and the increasing availability and use of advanced imaging methods have created a need for expertise in such techniques in order to guide their appropriate use in the diagnosis and treatment of patients with cancer. Thus, the National Comprehensive Cancer Network® (NCCN®) recently established the NCCN Specialized Imaging Research Consortium™ (SIRC), a multidisciplinary network of highly specialized investigators whose mission is to advance the treatment of patients with cancer through the clinical application of specialized imaging technologies.
The SIRC, a new initiative of the NCCN Oncology Research Program (ORP), aims to foster and support oncology research and advance technology development in order to improve patient outcomes. Bringing together imaging scientists, oncologists, and experts from NCCN Member Institutions, the SIRC will perform high-quality clinical trials of emerging therapeutics integrated with evidence-based research in order to guide the use of advanced imaging in clinical cancer care. The SIRC’s mission aims to:
The SIRC is advised by an inter-disciplinary Consortium Advisory Group (CAG), which has clearly defined oversight and quality control functions. The CAG works with the NCCN ORP to shape the goals, strategy, and implementation of the SIRC.
“The future promise of ‘Personalized Therapy’ will require the support of a new imaging paradigm - one that will allow us to evaluate qualitatively and quantitatively the cancer process at the cellular, molecular, and genetic level,” commented the Chair of CAG, Donald Podoloff, MD, Division Head, Diagnostic Imaging, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center. “To this end, NCCN has formed the Specialized Imaging Research Consortium (SIRC) to foster and support oncology research and extend technology development in specialized imaging that will lead to improved patient outcomes.”
The NCCN Oncology Research Program (ORP) draws on the expertise of investigators at NCCN Member Institutions to facilitate all phases of clinical research. This research is made possible by collaborations with pharmaceutical and biotech companies in order to advance therapeutic options for patients with cancer. To date, this successful research model has provided 87 investigators with more than $30 million in funding and has produced numerous publications in peer-reviewed journals.