New DSMB Appointed for NLST
Dr. Christine Berg, of the Division of Cancer Prevention, one of the two NCI divisions administering NLST, said that DSMB members have now returned to their positions under a consulting agreement with the Rockville, Md., company Westat that includes liability insurance. "This agreement addresses the issue of liability that was of concern to DSMB members. With this agreement in place, the DSMB membership will be able to focus on the valuable service they provide to NCI and the NLST," commented Dr. Berg.
DSMBs provide expert review of a clinical trial's plan for monitoring patient safety and data collection as well as interim analyses of outcome data and cumulative toxicity data summaries. Liability issues relating to activities of members of all DSMBs are currently being considered by NIH. For more information on NCI and NIH policies on data and safety monitoring of clinical trials, go to http://deainfo.nci.nih.gov/grantspolicies/datasafety.htm (NCI) and http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/notice-files/not98-084.html (NIH).
CIS Nears 10 Millionth Caller
In 1976, CIS served 47,000 callers. In 2003, CIS received nearly 280,000 requests for service through several access points (telephone, online chat, e-mail).
CIS's trained information specialists are available Monday through Friday from 9:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. local time, and can provide information in either English or Spanish. Callers also have the option of listening to recorded cancer information 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. For cancer information from CIS, call 1-800-4-CANCER (TTY users: 1-800-332-8615). In addition, CIS information specialists offer online assistance at cancer.gov Monday through Friday from 9:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. Eastern Time through their LiveHelp service.
Merlino Appointed Acting Lab Chief
Workshop Held for Minority Investigators
Approximately 130 midcareer and transitioning investigators from underrepresented racial and ethnic groups attended. Case studies of experiences obtaining funding were presented, as well as promotion and tenure experiences of other minority investigators. Specific topics included overviews of the NCI grants process and funding mechanisms; locating current funding opportunities at NCI; building collaborative research partnerships; grant writing; research methodology including statistical and qualitative methods, instrument development, and clinical trials design; mock grant reviews; and research publication.