publication date: Dec. 5, 2014

Top NCI Officials Pledge No Further Consolidation of Clinical Trials System


Top NCI officials made an unusual assurance that the reorganization of clinical trials cooperative groups isn’t a “prelude to reducing the commitment of the NCI to clinical trials-based research.”

The document, published as a letter to the editor of the Journal of Clinical Oncology on Dec. 1, follows up on a meeting Sept. 23, where group chairs and directors of statistical centers asked NCI to assure them that no new cuts are in the works.

JCO is published by the American Society of Clinical Oncology, a professional society that has issued strong expressions of concern about several aspects of consolidation of clinical trials cooperative groups into the National Clinical Trials Network, stating at one point that the changes have placed publicly funded clinical research in jeopardy (The Cancer Letter, June 6).

“Understandably, concerns have been expressed that budgets for the NCTN are insufficient to support all the trials that could be done,” the letter to JCO states. “It is true that resource constraints have had an impact on the breadth of trials that the NCTN can conduct.

“In response, we have developed processes to evaluate trial concepts and prioritize trials that have the greatest promise to answer important scientific questions and change clinical practice in the most beneficial ways,” the letter states. “Some fear that the processes required for prioritization will stifle investigator enthusiasm and reduce participation in federally supported clinical trials, but we believe that the opposite is true: new approaches will increase the value of NCI-supported clinical trials, energize the clinical research community, and enhance patient participation. Moreover, … Continue reading 40-45 Top NCI Officials Pledge No Further Consolidation of Clinical Trials System

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