publication date: Sep. 12, 2014

Group Chairs Seek Role in Running NCTN

NRG’s Walter Curran says group chairs should play a role in shared governance of NCTN.

By Paul Goldberg

Is the new National Clinical Trials Network set up for success or heading for failure?

The National Cancer Advisory Board Sept. 9 attempted to review the early signals coming from the institute’s revamped clinical trials system to determine whether it could use early tweaks.

The institute’s new network, configured to conduct new-generation “smart” trials of targeted agents, creates new mandates and capabilities, but—overall—it provides no new money to the clinical trials system.

While new capabilities have been created, funding for the offices of group chairs and statistical centers sustained substantial budget cuts (The Cancer Letter, May 16).

At the NCAB meeting, the group chairs focused on the question of governance. Has the clinical trials system been reconfigured to carry out directives from the top down? Have the groups turned into clinical research organizations for NCI? Who gets to set strategy? And what is the governance process?

Presenters at the session included all “stakeholders” in the new clinical trials system: NCI officials, a group chair, a cancer center director, a chair of a coordinating committee, a community investigator, and operators of repositories of biospecimens.


The Question of Governance

“Is the new system meaningfully different from the old system?” asked Walter Curran, co-chair of NRG Oncology, executive director of the Winship Cancer Institute and the Lawrence W. Davis Professor and Chairman of Radiation Oncology at Emory University. … Continue reading 40-34 Group Chairs Seek Role in Running NCTN

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