National Comprehensive Cancer Network

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The National Comprehensive Cancer Network Launches Clinical Trials Network to Speed Drug Discovery

Nineteen of the world`s leading cancer centers align to advance cancer treatment

ROCKLEDGE, PA, June 5, 2002 - The National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN) announces the launch of its Clinical Trials Network (CTN), a new strategy for advancing cancer therapies through clinical trials to improve patient care. A national, centralized infrastructure, CTN facilitates the initiation of clinical trials by bringing together the NCCN`s 19 leading cancer centers, clinical investigators and study sponsors.

The Clinical Trials Network is one of the most powerful programs we have to promote leading-edge cancer research, said William T. McGivney, PhD, the NCCN`s chief executive officer. Through this network, we can help move promising new treatments quickly and safely into testing and eventually into clinical practice for the benefit of patients. Our primary goal is to assist in the development of new therapies that improve patient care and save lives.

The CTN is a streamlined, centralized process of implementing oncology clinical trials in all phases of research at NCCN member institutions and works with sponsors to identify clinical investigators and initiate trials. Through the NCCN`s 19 member institutions, CTN provides access to over 1,600 investigators at the nation`s premier cancer centers and 400-plus investigators at 51 community-based affiliates. To help ensure scientifically valid study designs, CTN offers expert panels to consult on any stage of protocol development.

An Investigator Steering Committee comprised of senior research physicians appointed by each member institution sets policies and standards for the Network.

The Clinical Trials Network provides critical momentum to advance cancer research, said Rodger J. Winn, MD, chair of the Investigator Steering Committee. A major component of the system is the expertise that the world`s leading cancer researchers can bring to drug development and discovery programs. Expedited identification of investigators and clinical research sites should lead to faster study start-up and patient enrollment. Efficient study execution and completion in a scientifically rigorous environment could translate into more rapid approval of new treatment options with great potential to improve the lives of patients.

Several companies have already approached the NCCN to increase the efficacy and speed of their data collection through CTN. Pharmacia Corporation, for example, recently provided the NCCN with a $3.15 million grant for the development and review of research protocols and clinical trials in breast, gynecological and other forms of cancer involving two of its leading therapies. Centocor Inc., Schering-Plough Research Institute, Cell Genesys, Inc., and Adolor Corporation have also already enlisted the services of the CTN.

The CTN builds on the NCCN`s history of fostering collaboration to advance cancer treatment. Using a consensus-driven approach that integrates scientific evidence with expert opinion, the NCCN has developed detailed Practice Guidelines in Oncology for the treatment of 98% of all cancers encountered by oncologists. Data collected through the NCCN Outcomes Database, which tracks the ongoing delivery of cancer care, is used to update the guidelines on a regular basis. Through collaboration with the American Cancer Society, the NCCN is currently translating the guidelines into versions appropriate for patients. To date, patient guidelines are available for breast, prostate, lung and colon/rectal cancers. Also available are patient guidelines on treatment for cancer pain, cancer-related fatigue and nausea and vomiting. All guidelines are available online at www.nccn.org.

Founded in 1995, the NCCN is the premier source of cancer treatment information for health professionals and patients. An alliance of 19 of the world`s leading cancer centers, the NCCN is dedicated to advancing the state-of-the-art in cancer care by fostering collaborations and establishing excellence in basic and clinical research, education, and patient care.

For more information about NCCN`s Clinical Trials Network, please contact Diane Paul at 215.690.0232.

About the National Comprehensive Cancer Network

The National Comprehensive Cancer Network® (NCCN®), a not-for-profit alliance of 25 of the world's leading cancer centers, is dedicated to improving the quality and effectiveness of care provided to patients with cancer. Through the leadership and expertise of clinical professionals at NCCN Member Institutions, NCCN develops resources that present valuable information to the numerous stakeholders in the health care delivery system. As the arbiter of high-quality cancer care, NCCN promotes the importance of continuous quality improvement and recognizes the significance of creating clinical practice guidelines appropriate for use by patients, clinicians, and other health care decision-makers. The primary goal of all NCCN initiatives is to improve the quality, effectiveness, and efficiency of oncology practice so patients can live better lives. For more information, visit NCCN.org.

The NCCN Member Institutions are:

  • Fred & Pamela Buffett Cancer Center at The Nebraska Medical Center
  • City of Hope Comprehensive Cancer Center
  • Dana-Farber/Brigham and Women's Cancer Center
    Massachusetts General Hospital Cancer Center
  • Duke Cancer Institute
  • Fox Chase Cancer Center
  • Huntsman Cancer Institute at the University of Utah
  • Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center / Seattle Cancer Care Alliance
  • The Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center at Johns Hopkins
  • Robert H. Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Center of Northwestern University
  • Mayo Clinic Cancer Center
  • Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center
  • Moffitt Cancer Center
  • The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center - James Cancer Hospital and Solove Research Institute
  • Roswell Park Cancer Institute
  • Siteman Cancer Center at Barnes-Jewish Hospital and Washington University School of Medicine
  • St. Jude Children's Research Hospital/The University of Tennessee Health Science Center
  • Stanford Cancer Institute
  • University of Alabama at Birmingham Comprehensive Cancer Center
  • UC San Diego Moores Cancer Center
  • UCSF Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center
  • University of Colorado Cancer Center
  • University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center
  • The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center
  • Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center
  • Yale Cancer Center/Smilow Cancer Hospital